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To not understand why parents buy their children expensive phones which are not permitted in school

(27 Posts)
frogspoon Thu 19-Sep-13 20:36:00

I have just started working in an independent partially boarding school.

A school policy is that year 7 and 8 are not allowed smartphones, or any phone with the internet or a camera. Parents and pupils are informed of this when they join the school. Despite this, I am repeatedly having to confiscate these smartphones from students when they are out on show.

I do not understand why parents do not just buy them a cheap £10 phone for use in school. The students are permitted to have phones in school, just not smartphones.

I would have thought most parents would see this as a fantastic opportunity to save a few hundred pounds. But the number of children with non permitted phones suggests otherwise.

Do the parents at my school simply have more money than sense?

Moxiegirl Thu 19-Sep-13 20:38:48

This occurs in most schools.

frogspoon Thu 19-Sep-13 21:00:51

This occurs in most schools.

This is the first school I have taught in that insists on no smartphones.

Most schools just say no phones to be seen/ heard in school.

Obviously teenagers travelling independently need a phone, so I completely understand the need to have one switched off in the schoolbag.

But if the school says its fine to have a phone around school, as long as it's a £10 basic one, why would you spend hundreds of pounds, only to have it confiscated from your child. It makes no sense to me.

McNewPants2013 Thu 19-Sep-13 21:02:31

Why only years 7 and 8.

Groovee Thu 19-Sep-13 21:02:50

My ds got a free smartphone from Sainbury's as part of the mumsnet trial. Why would I buy another one when he got a freebie?

I ( and my eldest DD and partner) have had contracts for years and get to keep the phone at the end, so I have about three I phone 4's.

I have a contract SIM for my youngest, in one of the IPhones, it would cost me more for a cheap phone, as I would have to to it up as well as pay a contract.

If you have a good credit rating, it is false economy to have rubbish PAYG phones. She has unlimited calls and a decent Internet allowance.

School policies don't make sense sometimes.

Also why wouldn't you want the added mobile Internet facility?

frogspoon Thu 19-Sep-13 21:12:29

Why only years 7 and 8.

I'm not sure, I think it's just a giving more responsibility to older pupils thing.

My ds got a free smartphone from Sainbury's as part of the mumsnet trial. Why would I buy another one when he got a freebie?

Would you not buy your child the correct school uniform because you got given brand new designer clothes for free?

frogspoon Thu 19-Sep-13 21:17:07

Also why wouldn't you want the added mobile Internet facility?

I think the specific no internet, no camera policy is to prevent cyberbullying.

I confiscated two phones from pupils today because they were filming my lesson without my permission or my knowledge. It felt like a massive violation of my privacy to think that someone was trying to secretly film me, and presumably would then spread the video around to other schools.

The pupils will be punished by the school for doing this, but if the parents had just not bought them a smartphone it never would have happened.

OP but then you've got the problem of having two numbers etc when they have a phone that they can use.

I don't see how schools can justify making these rules. As long as the phones are switched off on school premises they should not be able to dictate like this.

Sorry but the schools should enforce the law and the law says that you cannot record people without permission and especially anyone vulnerable (children).

Those that do this in class will do it outside and need to be taught not to and it explained why.

All of my children went to quite rough comps in Liverpool and the schools managed to uphold the rules.

frogspoon Thu 19-Sep-13 21:29:11

Birds, it is an independent school, they have a lot more autonomy than your local rough comp. However obviously they must follow the law.

Out of interest it would be really helpful if you could direct me to which law it is.

If the pupils do not like following the rules, they may be asked to continue their education elsewhere, maybe somewhere that doesn't cost over £13,000 a year. Approximately 2 pupils per year (out of 700) are asked to do this.

It is far more easy to expel a child from an independent school. They have no obligation to offer them a place and it would be the job of the local authority to find them a new school.

frogspoon Thu 19-Sep-13 21:31:31

It felt like a massive violation of my privacy to think that someone was trying to secretly film me, and presumably would then spread the video around to other schools.

Typo, I meant other pupils, not other schools.

PatPig Thu 19-Sep-13 21:36:24

> I have a contract SIM for my youngest, in one of the IPhones, it would cost me more for a cheap phone, as I would have to to it up as well as pay a contract.

> If you have a good credit rating, it is false economy to have rubbish PAYG phones. She has unlimited calls and a decent Internet allowance.

Nonsense. Firstly you don't need a good credit rating to get a phone contract, and secondly a rubbish PAYG phone is about £5, it wouldn't do internet so that's irrelevant, and if we are talking about a phone for Y7 kids then a £10 PAYG top-up on 3 lasts six months and gives you 333 minutes.

An unlimited calls + internet allowance with 'free' iphone is going to cost hundreds of pounds over the course of the contract.

Groovee Thu 19-Sep-13 21:57:50

Don't be so ridiculous, he has the proper uniform. But it doesn't mean that I will rush out and buy another phone just so your school would be content!

He knows the rules on phones and it gets handed into his teacher as per the school rules!

comingalongnicely Thu 19-Sep-13 22:08:16

Must be getting old but - why do kids need phones at school?

Keyword in that sentence is need....

Hulababy Thu 19-Sep-13 22:15:18

It seems strange to only bar Y7/8 from Smartphones - especially as much of the cyber bulling and nasty stuff you here about in the media is older children - more 14/5y olds.

DD is in y7 and has a smartphone, as do most of her friends. Their school rule is the phone must be turned off (not just silent) in school hours but my be used at lunch times. Can be either kept in their locker or in their bag/blazer pocket. We - DD and parents - sign a mobile phone agreement with school - sets out expectations, inc safety and cyber bulling, etc - with the sanctions for misuse.

Seems to work well for them.

PatPig Thu 19-Sep-13 22:17:10

Y7s shouldn't have smartphones at school, there is all kinds of horrific content they can access with no oversight whatsoever.

Hulababy Thu 19-Sep-13 22:17:37

comingalongnicely for us it makes it easier for after school arrangements. Sometimes DD will walk and meet me at my school for a lift, sometimes she goes to a friends, sometimes to a local coffee shop to meet friends sometimes bus home. Sometimes my plans change so I may want to leave work early so need to let D know that I will either pick her up or meet her at home. Sometimes DD's plans fall through. This is all far easier to manage when we can send each other a text or a call after school finishes.

Hulababy Thu 19-Sep-13 22:18:30

PatPig - I prefer to go down the route of teaching about sensible and appropriate, and safe use, rather than barring access.

frogspoon Thu 19-Sep-13 22:35:27

As I have said, I don't make the rules.

There are advantages and disadvantages to y7-8 being allowed to use smartphones. As is clear from the incident today, several year 8s were not mature and sensible enough to use them e.g. to help in their education.

I don't know whether teaching safe and proper use of smartphones would have prevented the situation. I expect that similar incidents go on in many schools around the country, both state and independent and regardless of the school's actual policy on mobile phones.

To be honest I don't think it is the actual policy that matters, but more how it is implemented.

Fortunately my school is very good at reinforcing school rules and the pupils will all be receiving an after school detention with SMT, plus a letter will go home telling the parents why their child has received the detention.

I think most parents would be quite disappointed in their child if they found that they had been using their phone to film a teacher without the teacher's knowledge or permission, regardless of the school's phone policy.

StuntGirl Thu 19-Sep-13 23:03:18

I actually agree that no smart phones at school sounds like an excellent idea. It definitely won't stop bullying, but it will definitely help cut down cyber bullying.

Xmasbaby11 Thu 19-Sep-13 23:08:20

I agree with you OP.

NonnoMum Thu 19-Sep-13 23:09:46

Blimey - just change the policy to allow phones to be used.

Take a photo of the homework written up on the whiteboard and put it in your calendar. What's wrong with embracing technology?

Take a photo of the art you made, record phrases in languages. use your phone as a planner...

frogspoon Thu 19-Sep-13 23:16:04

nonno, in the upper school (y9-13) smart phones are used for this exact purpose.

I am a science teacher and routinely allow my pupils to use their phones as stopclocks to time experiments. Pupils who have EAL use translator apps to help them keep up with the class. There are definitely many educational benefits to having smartphones in school, when used in the right way.

However you are missing the point here.

The pupils in question were clearly not responsible enough to use the phone in this way. This is why the rule is that smart phones are banned for this age group. Parents who are choosing to enable their children to break this rule by supplying them with expensive smartphones are not doing them any favours when their kids get landed with detentions.

StuntGirl Thu 19-Sep-13 23:51:50

What's wrong with embracing technology?

The thousands of children cyberbullied with mobile phones as a weapon could explain quite well what's wrong with it.

Butkin Fri 20-Sep-13 00:11:09

DDs school as a no phone policy - although if they have to take them (for subsequent after school clubs, going home with other people etc) they can hand them in on to their form tutor on arrival. DD has my old Blackberry and I wouldn't buy her a cheap one - she'd just have to forego using her phone when not allowed.

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