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School lost DS' phone

(183 Posts)
ICancelledTheCheque Sat 22-Oct-16 09:52:19

I could use some perspective on how to handle this please.

Background - blended family, DHs children live with us. They aren't keen on sleeping over at their mums but they do it once a week. We gave them both our old phones when our contracts were up so they could stay in touch with us. They're 10, in Y6.

That means that once a week they have to take their phones into school. School have a rule that they have to be handed in to the office in the morning and collected in the afternoon.

However SDS phone has gone missing and wasn't there to collect on Friday afternoon.

The school basically just require the kids to place them in a drawer and it's transpired that they don't supervise them collecting the phones at the end of the day so anyone could take anyone's phone.

I can't help but think that if the school want to impose a rule that the children can't look after their own property, they should take reasonable steps to look after the phones on behalf of the kids! I feel that they've been negligent in allowing it to be lost or stolen.

The phone is worth £120. Should the school pay for it or do we just accept it's one of those things and suck it up?

Meadows76 Sat 22-Oct-16 09:56:03

I would not be happy. The kids did everything they could to follow the rules and you would assume if school inisit on phones being handed in that they take responsibility for them.

AddToBasket Sat 22-Oct-16 09:56:31

Because you/he knew the arrangement before he took the phone in, I don't think you can retrospectively complain about this loss. However, I'd be asking the school to arrange something more secure in the future or allow pupils to take responsibility for the property by keeping it with them.

Salmotrutta Sat 22-Oct-16 09:57:48

Do they "sign" them in when they put them in the drawer?

If yes, then that's surely proof enough that the phone was there at the start of the day and I'd be kicking up a fuss that the collection is not being supervised and the pupils signing out their phones at the end of day.

I'd definitely be onto the school about this.

exLtEveDallas Sat 22-Oct-16 10:01:05

There are a few things that posters will pick up on in your post - why does a 10 yr old need a phone? Why such an expensive phone? and the like, but for what it is worth I would say, yes, the school should replace the phone if after an extensive investigation proves fruitless.

All children who hand in phones should be known - was there one left behind? If not than a child has picked up two. Parents should be asked to check and told that the police are being called.

Be certain that your DC actually handed the phone in though - we had a similar incident at a previous school and it turned out that the phone owner hadnt handed the phone in, had forgotten that they hadn't and the phone was actually still in the bottom of the child's locker!

wildcoffeeandbeans Sat 22-Oct-16 10:03:20

I imagine this happens quite often. It's ridiculous that schools just toss them all together in a tray or drawer and let the kids pick them back out again with no system of ensuring the right phone goes to the right person -- there's nothing stopping them from getting a free upgrade by grabbing a different phone.

Do you have a find my phone app? I would see what steps could be taken to recover it first, and then complain. If nothing else it might pressure them to devise a better system (even a post it note with the kid's name on it stuck to the back of the phone would be decent).

ICancelledTheCheque Sat 22-Oct-16 10:03:33


They don't sign for them unfortunately and the arrangement is very informal. Realistically we probably couldn't even prove it was left in the drawer in the first place but the twins are both insistent that it was!

I just think the school are legally responsible as they assumed care over the property and failed to take reasonable care of it which resulted in it being lost or stolen. But DH thinks it isn't worth the fuss.

ICancelledTheCheque Sat 22-Oct-16 10:05:17

We've tried find my iPhone but the kids have switched location services off hmm

It's in lost mode now though.

There were no spare phones at the end of the day and school didn't hear the lost noise or made out of hours so I'm fairly sure it's been taken.

Trifleorbust Sat 22-Oct-16 10:05:38

It depends on whether the school has an 'at your own risk' policy or not. They have had to look after the phone because - for reasons not under their control - your DS took it in. They don't want him to do this. However, they did accept the phone. It is therefore a grey area. If I were leading a school, my policy would be: any phone brought onto school premises, whether left with staff or not, whether confiscated or not, is brought at your own risk. No exceptions.

fruityb Sat 22-Oct-16 10:06:52

Our school accepts no responsibility as they're not supposed to have them in school. As much as we know they have them, whatever happens is their fault. In this case it's a tricky one as the school has this arrangement. But like you say there's no proof it was there in the first place.

I don't think YABU necessarily but I think you would have a hard time proving this

exLtEveDallas Sat 22-Oct-16 10:09:01

I take charge of two phones every other Friday. They are put in Jiffy bags with the child's name on and put in a locked filing cabinet. Child or teacher comes for it at the end of the day and it is handed directly to them. I wouldn't have it any other way - no least as I can't afford to replace a phone myself! The school/teacher/admin is daft to not protect themselves - what if they were accused of stealing it?

ilovesooty Sat 22-Oct-16 10:12:08

It seems a rather casual system but I can't see why they needed to take such an expensive phone to school. A basic call /text phone would have done the job and would have been unlikely to disappear.

ICancelledTheCheque Sat 22-Oct-16 10:17:21

The phones they have were basically free as our phones were upgraded at the end of our contract. It would have been pretty pointless spending money on two cheap phones just for the sake of it.

Meadows76 Sat 22-Oct-16 10:21:24

Why are people picking at the choice of phone and reasoning for the children having them? That's not the issue. The problem is if school insist phones are to be handed in then they should look after them properly

DropZoneOne Sat 22-Oct-16 10:22:36

School's argument would probably be that the children shouldn't have items such as that in school in the first place, and they may just crack down on that policy.

I would suck up the loss but ask them to consider a more robust procedure - the named jiffy bag and keeping in a locked drawer or safe seems sensible, along with signing in and out.

ilovesooty Sat 22-Oct-16 10:23:33

When you keep a contract phone after you've paid for it for a couple of years it's not exactly "free". And according to you £120 worth of phone has gone missing.

TheSnorkMaidenReturns Sat 22-Oct-16 10:30:43

That's not OK. Our kids' primary used to do this and any decent phones (usually hand-me-downs) got 'accidentally' taken home by the wrong person far too often.
They stopped doing it as it's a stupid idea.
Year 6 children are responsible for their own phones if they take them to school.
There are lots of very good reasons why older children might have a phone at primary school and the OP has given one of them.

OnionKnight Sat 22-Oct-16 10:33:47

The school needs to replace it.

Trifleorbust Sat 22-Oct-16 10:35:45

No, most schools don't insist on kids handing in their phones. They say don't bring them at all. If the students insist on bringing them, it is perfectly reasonable for the school to say they can't keep them on their person, which leaves them no choice but to take them into staff keeping. But the kids still shouldn't have phones, so the school shouldn't have to take responsibility for the loss.

SquawkFish Sat 22-Oct-16 10:37:45

School needs to replace it and apologise to the boys for losing their phones.

SuburbanRhonda Sat 22-Oct-16 10:39:42

Why are people picking at the choice of phone and reasoning for the children having them?

Perhaps because that's a possible reason why it was stolen.

A bit late now, OP, but you should sold your old phones on eBay if they're worth £120 and bought the children £10 Tesco ones with no data.

ICancelledTheCheque Sat 22-Oct-16 10:44:25

*Today 10:23 ilovesooty

When you keep a contract phone after you've paid for it for a couple of years it's not exactly "free". And according to you £120 worth of phone has gone missing.*

Would the principle be any different if it was a £30 phone as opposed to a £120 phone?

Meadows76 Sat 22-Oct-16 10:44:45

Perhaps because that's a possible reason why it was stolen. sure enough, lets blame the OP rather then the person that took the phone. hmm

SuburbanRhonda Sat 22-Oct-16 10:51:53

sure enough, lets blame the OP rather then the person that took the phone.

No, let's give a reason why, if someone was going to steal a phone and had a choice of which one to steal, it is reasonable to assume they would steal the most expensive one.

TheSnorkMaidenReturns Sat 22-Oct-16 10:54:53

<ahem> victim blaming much?

Some other kid stole the twins' phones.

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