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Can my daughter be searched by a teacher?

(88 Posts)
London19 Mon 25-Sep-17 14:38:31

My daughter has attended the same secondary school from the start and is now in year 11 and at the time of applying it was one of the best schools in our area but by last year it had been placed into special measures by ofsted.

The head was then sacked and a new part time head was bought in and lots of teachers left and new ones started this September.

So far, all fine... there are lots of new rules, and one of them is a complete ban on mobile phones on in the school, which I agree with.

The only problem I have is apparently our children can be subjected to a search and and if they find a mobile on them then it will be confiscated for 6 weeks and if a parent were to go to the school to retrieve it before the 6 week time they have threatened to exclude the pupil.

My daughter walks to and from school on her own and she sends me a quick text just before going into school to say she is there safely and a quick text once out to say she is on her way home or she has forgotten her keys etc, my daughter is a complete worrier and is petrified a teacher is going to demand to search her and find her turned off phone in her bag.

They offer to take the phones in a box at the beginning of the day but hold no responsibility if the phones get damaged or lost in their care.. plus it's a huge queue at the end of the day to retrieve the phones so everyone just keeps their phone off on their bags.

I can't find anything regarding implementing this sort of rule when looking online and I'm wondering can my 15 year old daughter be searched by an adult and then have something that is in my name taken away for the random time of 6 weeks?

MrsOverTheRoad Mon 25-Sep-17 14:41:07

Surely they mean search bags...not frisk them?

LaurieFairyCake Mon 25-Sep-17 14:42:51

Yes they can take phones from them. There have been many bullying and safeguarding issues with phones so quite a few schools do this.

I suggest you get your kid to hand it in. Queing up for a few minutes is hardly difficult.

KimmySchmidt1 Mon 25-Sep-17 14:45:42

Gee, I wonder why your 16 year old daughter is such a worrier when her mother makes her text her twice everyday to confirm she hasn't been raped and murdered!

Maybe leave the phone at home and avoid the problem?

BarbaraBitchFace Mon 25-Sep-17 14:46:16

Can't you just assume all is well and that she has reached school ok? The school will phone you if she is absent at registration and you haven't phoned in.

We have managed without them for such a long time, they're not always as necessary as we think.

She can text you when she's home.

FindTheLightSwitchDarren Mon 25-Sep-17 14:48:04

I don't think anything the school is doing is terribly unreasonable.

They don't allow phones in school which you agree with. They offer to take the phones and give them back at the end of the day, but you don't want your DD to do this?

Is it a very fancy phone? Maybe get her a cheap handset to use on school days which can be handed in. Then she can use her better phone at home and on weekends.

Admittedly though, my dc are too young for phones, so maybe I'm missing something.

AmysTiara Mon 25-Sep-17 14:50:43

What is it with searching school kids at the moment? Every other thread mentions it hmm

Pengggwn Mon 25-Sep-17 14:51:47

Yes, I think so. Pockets can be emptied in the presence of two adults, if I remember rightly. Bags can be searched in the same way. A body search is different, that require either police or an emergency (weapons, basically).

It makes no difference that the phone belongs to you - don't give it to her if you don't want it confiscated!

Maudlinmaud Mon 25-Sep-17 14:52:08

Well they can remove the phone from your child if they believe she has one on her person. Thing is like another poster has pointed out phones can be abused at school, kids can video other kids and share these images etc online. Blocking the phone mast signals has been suggested by a school local to me but nearby residents obviously aren't happy with that option.
It's so much easier to just ban all electronic devices.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 25-Sep-17 14:55:28

If she is 15 then in a couple of years who will be at work or university and will need to be more resilient.

She can decide if she wants to hand the phone in or go without. But having the phone on her, when that is against rules you agree with, and it makes her worry? Nope. Choices need to be made. Is it worth extra time to her to have a phone or does she leave it at home?

AdmiralJaneway Mon 25-Sep-17 14:58:17

My DD is too young at the moment for this to be on my radar - but my first thought is - can they really hold on your/her property for six weeks?!?

chickenowner Mon 25-Sep-17 14:58:34

Does she really need to text you to let you know she's arrived at school?

This seems very over the top to me, and is probably teaching her to be paranoid, and that the world is a very dangerous place.

Not very healthy.

Slarti Mon 25-Sep-17 15:00:14

Am I the only person who has read the part about 6 weeks confiscation and exclusion if the parent wants the phone back? While I accept that there are very good reasons to ban the use of phones whilst in school and for the school to confiscate them when necessary, keeping them for 6 weeks is completely OTT, as is excluding the child if the parent asks for it back. Is it even legal for a school to do that? The phone almost certainly doesn't belong to the child but to the parent.

BarbarianMum Mon 25-Sep-17 15:03:28

She could:

1. Leave her phone at home
2. Waste 5 minutes of her life queing to retrieve it each day
Or
3. she could keep her phone switched off in the bottom of her bag like everyone else.

So lots of choices and no need for drama. Carrying a mobile phone is not a human right.

Maudlinmaud Mon 25-Sep-17 15:03:43

6 weeks is a term usually so that's probably why. Honestly schools have to crack down on this sort of thing. Now if the child keeps the phone switched of in their bag and doesn't bring it out whilst on school property that's different. But that rarely happens.

FindTheLightSwitchDarren Mon 25-Sep-17 15:03:51

admiral said the same thing *@slarti*. I suppose they're trying to operate a zero tolerance approach and I understand why, (bullying etc - not just other pupils, but I've heard teachers being goaded in class and their reactions filmed to be put on YouTube).

martellandginger Mon 25-Sep-17 15:04:27

With pupils carrying weapons we are of an age where yes children are going to get searched. Its our job as parents to make sure their rights are not violated but if you're repeat offender I wouldn't care less if they stripped you to your pants and bra..

Hulababy Mon 25-Sep-17 15:06:21

Government advise on searching pupils and confiscation - England schools:

www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/554415/searching_screening_confiscation_advice_Sept_2016.pdf

They can search - but there are rules, and it must be set out in the school policies that the item looked for is a searchable item.

Confiscation is a legitimate sanction but the time removed for most be deemed reasonable - 6 weeks is unlikely to be considered reasonable.

BarbarianMum Mon 25-Sep-17 15:07:03

Most children's phones belong to them Slarti - with contracts paid for by parents. OP could always provide her dd with a cheap PAYG phone for school if she's worried about a more expensive model going missing.

Skinandbones Mon 25-Sep-17 15:07:37

Can understand the texts for reassurance, I would buy a cheap payg and let her use that going to and fro, she could even hand it in, can't see one wanting it. It's not like she will be using it in school.

Wonderflonium Mon 25-Sep-17 15:09:21

I doubt the teachers CBA to randomly search bags and would assume that she'd lose it for 6 weeks only if she was using it in class/was seen with it by a teacher with time to spend on going to the school office and getting the paper trail started.
There's no way they'd search her person. I worked in one school with a handheld metal detector but the boss would wave it around like it was show and tell when he came into lessons with it "Maybe you can explain how this works, Ms Wonder?", and I'm pretty sure he was looking for knives and had some idea who might have one.

FairNotFair Mon 25-Sep-17 15:09:29

What is it with searching school kids at the moment? Every other thread mentions it

I was thinking that very thing

BoomBoomsCousin Mon 25-Sep-17 15:10:27

Yes they can search her, her bags, her locker, etc. They can't use force, but the could punish her for refusing a search. They can take the phone and they don't even have to return it at 6 weeks, legally they could make the policy one where they destroy it (I think it's outrageous, but that's what the law says, see government guidance).

If she really needs to text you when she gets to and leaves school make sure her phone is a cheap, basic one and get her to hand it in, otherwise have her leave it at home. It is a huge shame there isn't a better way for them to have their phones looked after in school hours, but I can see why schools consider them inappropriate.

Ontheboardwalk Mon 25-Sep-17 15:12:53

I don't see what the problem is with handing the phone in every morning? I'm sure the teachers giving out the phones at the end of the day want to do it as quickly as possible?

I agree with the ban on phones in schools but I believe kids should be able to travel to and from school with phones. Your school seems to have a solution for this.

hannah1992 Mon 25-Sep-17 15:13:41

my sil has just left school. I left school 10 years ago so everything's changed since then. She was aloud her phone in her bag but if they were to be caught using the phone on the premises it would be confiscated and they could claim it at the end of the day. If they were caught twice in the same term it would be confiscated for a week. I think 6 weeks is a long time and to exclude them for simply having it in their bag , not been used, is too far.

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