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Do ALL children take mobiles to secondary school?

(40 Posts)
roisin Mon 21-Jul-08 11:00:45

At our school we have a policy of no mobiles, but know full well that most students have them in their bags. (Hopefully switched off and hopefully they don't get them out during the school day hmm). They are the root cause of all sorts of problems and I'm not a fan at all.

DS1 doesn't even have a phone yet, but we've agreed he can have dh's til Christmas then will get his own at Christmas when he knows what he wants.

He will have a 15 min bus journey each way, and would probably happily spend some of this time texting his mates, or phoning us to let us know he's going to be late/in detention or whatever.

So would I be ultra mean mummy to say "No, school policy of no phones means no phones and you're not taking one to school!"

Do any of you have children in secondary who do not take their phones in to school on a regular basis?

MrsWobble Mon 21-Jul-08 11:05:48

our circumstances are similar to yours i think - an equivalent bus journey. i feel much happier sending them with phones because then if they're going to be late home we know and don't worry. i did make it a requirement to get cheap non-cool phones that no-one in their right mind would mug anyone for though.

Freckle Mon 21-Jul-08 11:06:05

My two who are at secondary have a phone each and take them to school, even though school is only a 10 min walk away. It is very useful if they suddenly decide they want to go to a friend's or stay for an after-school activity. Otherwise they'd either have to come home first to find me or, worse, wait until I got home to ask, as I'm often not home before they are.

My strategy is to give them PAYG phones and only keep a small amount of credit on there so that they know they can contact me but not spend pounds texting their mates.

WendyWeber Mon 21-Jul-08 11:17:30

DS2 didn't have one for ages because he lost it (actually this happened twice) & it was a PITA, esp if he was late home when I knew he had no detentions but I had no way of finding out why (obv this would generally not have been in Y7 though; mostly Y9 & 10 wink)

WendyWeber Mon 21-Jul-08 11:19:02

His is PAYG but with O2, for each top-up he gets a chunk of free texts included - I think it's £15 a month now to get 300 free texts on top.

serenity Mon 21-Jul-08 11:26:17

DS1 doesn't start secondary until next september, but depending on which school he gets in, he might have a longish journey (35 minute walk) I will let him have a phone in those circumstances, but what he's getting is my old phone but with a new PAYG sim. I won't be getting him a new phone until I'm sure that he's going to be responsible with it, and even then it's not going to be a flash one (might as well put a sign saying 'mug me' on his head!)

WendyWeber Mon 21-Jul-08 11:26:20

Oh no, it's better than that, you get 300 texts for £10, 500 for £15 - see here.

I heart O2, DH & both boys are on it too & on contract calls to other O2 phones are free smile

Anyway provided you think he can manage not to lose it (zipped inside blazer pocket is a much better place than unzipped trouser pocket hmm), I'd let him take it, roisin - for your benefit more than his!

ihatebikerides Mon 21-Jul-08 11:28:04

Roisin, what sort of problems do they cause if switched off in bags? Am curious because am pretty sure 90% of DS's school must do this. The official line is that they should hand them in to student services first thing, and collect at the end of the day, but that would mean 1200 pupils in a queue at 8.30 - not very practical.

roisin Mon 21-Jul-08 12:01:57

Switched off in bags cause few problems (except the possibility of being nicked). The problems are caused when they are out of bags - texting/calling each other in lessons, using phones for teasing/bullying, taking photos of students in the changing room or fighting or pictures of staff, etc. etc.

O2 sounds good WW, might go for that. I do like the idea of him being able to easily phone to let us know if he's staying to a club or going to a mate's house or something. But it's not essential.

nkf Mon 21-Jul-08 12:07:45

They all take phones to school.

christywhisty Mon 21-Jul-08 15:54:24

Ds and his friends do, he gets a train to school. It was a lifeline recently when it took 2 and half hours to do an 8 minute journey. There are strict rules at school about the use of them and they are enforced.

RTKangaMummy Mon 21-Jul-08 15:58:00

DS HAS A MOBILE that he taked s to school but it must be swtiched off in his pocket

he walks to and from school

southeastastra Mon 21-Jul-08 15:58:16

ds(14) never has

FluffyMummy123 Mon 21-Jul-08 15:58:42

Message withdrawn

swedishmum Mon 21-Jul-08 16:43:32

Mine have themn - though there have been a few thefts at local boys' school. They have cheap payg phones. We live in a remote area 10 miles from school and last winter the school bus didn't show up a few times so I view them as essential for safety. Don't think they have more than £5 a month on each if that much.

NigellaTheOriginal Mon 21-Jul-08 16:48:44

DD (12)has a mobile she takes to school - she has to walk 2 miles there and back - it gives both her and me a bit of peace of mind knowing she (usually) has it with her.

unknownrebelbang Mon 21-Jul-08 16:49:20

DS1's secondary allows the children to have phones on them, but switched off during lessons. Don't know how strict the school is on this policy tbh, but know that DS's is switched off (and often at home hmm)

It has proved useful at times - when he's remembered it - when his plans have changed, because he has a 30 minute bus journey each way.

ecoworrier Mon 21-Jul-08 16:49:39

Most children at secondary school seem to have them, although I'd agree they're not really essential.

The official policy is that phones/MP3 players are not to be used or even seen during tutor time, during lessons or in corridors to/from lessons. They can however be used before and after school and at breaks and lunchtimes.

This seems a fair policy and generally works. Any contravention means the offending article is confiscated and PARENTS must collect it from reception - parents aren't usually very happy with this, so it acts as another deterrent!

ravenAK Mon 21-Jul-08 20:59:20

It's a losing battle - they're just going to get cheaper. Is it just me is old enough to remember a similar kerfuffle when pocket calculators in the early '80s?

The thing is to enforce that you don't have extraneous stuff out in lessons - or your parent will be collecting your 'phone/mascara/Nuts at the end of the day/week/term.

I think your solution is most sensible Roisin (& the usual arrangement for year 7s where I teach) - an old mobile to be used for contacting home or playing with on journeys, fine.

fizzbuzz Mon 21-Jul-08 21:11:05

Oooh, I like that idea ecoworrier, they are just confiscated and returned at our school.

As a teacher I am totally sick of all the hassle they cause in school. On at pupils all the time about them, they are so sneaky with them, texting under desks etc...

I know they need them, but I wish we had one of those things they have in Japan, that automatically turns them off. Sometimes I feel my job is about hassles over mobile phones rather than teaching

SqueakyPop Mon 21-Jul-08 21:28:43

Our school's policy is that phones have to be switched off in lockers during the school day. At the end of school, they have to be outside the building before making a call.

If they need to phone home during the day, they can call from the school office.

Parents tend to want their children to have phones, especially if they have to make their own way home or are doing after school activities. I don't think it is reasonable to have a blanket ban.

roisin Mon 21-Jul-08 21:34:51

In our school if a phone is seen it is confiscated, phone goes in the safe and a letter goes home (by snail mail). When the letter is returned, signed, by the parents that they understand school policy then the parents can collect the phone.

Students don't like it if they get their phone confiscated, but it doesn't stop them getting them out.

SqueakyPop Mon 21-Jul-08 21:38:22

In our school, confiscated phones are held in the school office and can be picked up by parents at the end of the week. We don't send letters.

unknownrebelbang Mon 21-Jul-08 21:48:26

Our school charge 20p if a child needs to phone home (unless it's a school-related issue). I don't - generally speaking - have a problem with this, except on the one occasion DS1 asked to phone home because an after-school activity had been cancelled he just asked to phone home, rather than explain the reason for the call. He was told it would cost 20p and he had no cash on him (he doesn't usually take any money) so he walked away, and then sat outside school for an hour for me to collect him. (of course, this was one of the days he hadn't got his mobile with him).

janeite Mon 21-Jul-08 21:57:48

I was very reluctant to get dd1 a phone when she started in Yr 7; however I relented and got her the cheapest PAYG one. She only uses it to text dp if she's on her way home, or staying for drama club or whatever so we probably only put £10 in it every couple of months. We will do the same for dd2 when she starts in Sept although she won't really need it as they'll come home together, at least to begin with.

At the school I teach in they are supposed to hand them into the office. Tbh they rarely do but so long as they are in bags and switched off it's not a problem. I probably only have to deal with a "phone related incident" about once every six weeks, usually somebody's "accidentally" ringing in class - and this is in an inner-city, supposedly "tough" school.

The 02 deal sounds good: will probably get dd2 an 02 PAYG one - thanks for the rec Wendy.

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