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Phone policy

(28 Posts)
GrammarTeacher Mon 15-Jul-19 11:54:14

I'm trying to get our school to have something approaching a coherent mobile policy.
The only limit at the moment is no use in class without teacher permission. We are a school of zombies at break and lunchtime and it's just not healthy.
I have managed to get them banned from the canteen - partly as it was leading to rudeness to staff. I presented the evidence to the head who said he would arrange for the issue to be discussed.
It was. On my day off. And my views and intentions were completely misrepresented and they have decided to do.....nothing.
Anyway, long story short, what are your schools' policies on mobile phones.

OP’s posts: |
JennaOfEluria Mon 15-Jul-19 12:01:42

Not a teacher but my daughter's secondary school has a blanket ban on phones being used/on during school hours.

The only exception is they're allowed to go to the school office to ask permission to call a parent/guardian about an after school issue like they're now attending a club or need a lift for example.

The children still try to sneak phone use but there aren't zombie hoards walking around the school. If children are caught with a phone it's confiscated until the end of the school day and held at the school office. It seems to work well, the parents know the score as do the children. I haven't heard of anyone kicking off about the enforcement of the rules.

SquirellTamer Mon 15-Jul-19 12:08:11

My DD is due to start secondary in September and the school has made it very clear that phones are not to be on whilst on the school premises. If they are caught with it on then the phone will be confiscated. Sounds like your school just can't be bothered. I do agree with you OP that phones shouldn't be used at break etc.

GrammarTeacher Mon 15-Jul-19 12:12:36

This is an issue I'm having the head is against anything that might lead to resistance. And Student Council were against it as well (how shocking). I am particularly annoyed that this discussion was had in my absence when I have done a lot of research into this and it's impact.

OP’s posts: |
Girasole02 Mon 15-Jul-19 12:13:13

At the school I do supply in (and where my son attended), there is a blanket ban on phones throughout the day, including breaks. If seen, they are confiscated. If a student needs to bring one to use on the way to and from school, these have to be signed in at reception. If students are needed in an emergency, parents can contact the school. Hand in heart, I have never seen one.

ahumanfemale Mon 15-Jul-19 12:15:50

I'm not a teacher but this just popped up. Our school has now zero phones policy after some bad social media stuff happened that attacked teachers. I do wonder whether the fact teachers were horribly targeted (rather than pupils) played a part in that.

FusionChefGeoff Mon 15-Jul-19 12:25:25

Mine are primary still but I am shocked that any school would have anything other than a blanket ban on phones shock

Surely it's bloody obvious how having phones would negatively affect the environment / pupils??

GrammarTeacher Mon 15-Jul-19 12:26:54

You'd think angry

OP’s posts: |
Hairyheadphones Mon 15-Jul-19 12:28:39

Both my children’s secondary school have a no phones in school hours policy.
One has had it for years. One started it more recently, firstly so children would actually speak to each other during breaks and secondly because there was quite a lot of bullying/drama being created over social media during school hours.

GrammarTeacher Mon 15-Jul-19 12:30:26

Exactly my reasoning. But I'm wrong according to some colleagues. Who obviously aren't bothered about our students inability to communicate face to face.

OP’s posts: |
iMatter Mon 15-Jul-19 12:38:09

Blanket ban was introduced at my kids' school this academic year.

The impact of this change has been transformative.

As you say they become zombies at breaktimes and are glued to their phones. Now they play football, table tennis etc and actually interact.

My kids say they prefer no phones in school now.

auphonenut Mon 15-Jul-19 12:53:58

I've name changed for this as I don't want to get disciplined. Or lose my job.

I work In Australia and my school went for a whole-day ban on phones; in lockers at 9.00. out at 3.30. Teachers can give permission phones in class for specific purposes.

The real deal is this: in Australia, pupils can film/record their teachers. They can't legally upload on the internet, though. Hahahahahaha. Who cares or can do anything once it's out there? Who will take out the court case to defend the teacher? Not the DET, I can assure you. I can't begin to list the protections on teachers taking pics of pupils, so much so, I no longer take pics of anything my pupils do: posters, presentations, because my ass can canned for one mistaken/not deleted pic, while I can lose my livelihood by a malicious nit wit pupil.

The way I see it, the ban protects me. The apparent motive, to get pupils to actually interact with each other works too. Which is good.

Check out UK law to see how teachers are protected.

Terrifiedandregretful Mon 15-Jul-19 15:43:58

My school has an 'on site; out of sight' policy which generally works well. Any phones seen or heard are confiscated and handed to the office. The office then contacts the parents and they have to make an appointment to come in and pick the phone up. I think this is the key to it working. The kids know their parents may not be able to come in at short notice so it could be weeks before they get their phone back. That is deterrent enough for most.

I wouldn't want to work at a school which didn't have a blanket ban.

physicskate Mon 15-Jul-19 20:15:28

My last school was a nightmare for this. I rarely caught kids using phones without permission but they frequently did.

I once had an irate email from a parent before the end of a lesson where a test had been returned. Clearly, the child had messaged before we'd gone through it, understood where they'd gone wrong and were reassured.

Another time, a student I didn't teach told me about something that had happened during my previous lesson 5 mins after the end of the lesson (someone had spilled their water bottle everywhere - hardly news of the century or remotely interesting, but still texted round the school).

What a sad world we've become...it means kids don't process the consequences of their actions. It's a text first, think later culture.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 15-Jul-19 20:21:10

I work in an Alternative Provision school. Phones (and fags) in lockers at the start of the day and they stay there until the end.

AngelsWithSilverWings Mon 15-Jul-19 20:44:03

The school my daughter is starting at in September has a complete ban on bringing phones to school. Apparently there is a local shop that will store phones for the day for £1 so that the kids can have them before and after school. The school say the reason for the ban is to ensure the kids play and socialise at break times.

Another local school has just introduced a ban from this September after a police investigation into sharing of indecent images.

I think the ban is a good idea.

PumpkinPie2016 Tue 16-Jul-19 16:09:16

Blanket ban at the school I work in.

If pupils are caught with phones out, they are confiscated and given to the head for collection at the end of the day. She generally makes them wait a while to collect too.

Jenniferturkington Tue 16-Jul-19 16:13:00

At my ds’ secondary school there is only a ban on phones in classrooms/learning time. They are allowed to use them in their break times.

TeenTimesTwo Tue 16-Jul-19 18:20:41

DD's school allows use at break and lunch and for class use with teacher's permission. Out of sight at other times. They want to teach the kids to have the self discipline that will be needed for jobs, I think.

Also clear rules about not contacting parents about incidents at school (due to parents then contacting the school with half the info demanding action).

I'd be happy if the rules included no use at break and lunch too.

QueenofCBA Tue 16-Jul-19 19:19:26

I am surprised at the pushback in your school, OP! I have never actually come across a school that allows phones out during the day around here. You are doing the right thing fighting for a phone ban, I would not consider working at a school without one!

PotteringAlong Tue 16-Jul-19 19:22:34

Secondary teacher here; blanket ban at my school

sd249 Tue 16-Jul-19 19:25:15

No phones allowed on site. Students can have them off in their bags or hand in to reception.

If they are seen with it once it is confiscated until the end of the week for parent to pick up. Again and it goes until the end of term.

At break and lunch in my school you will see children running, playing and laughing with each other.

Secondary school - deprived area.

CurlyhairedAssassin Tue 16-Jul-19 19:31:41

If your policy confiscates phones then make sure you are prepared for how to deal with pRents who march up to the school demanding they give their kid’s phone back to them. I’ve seen this. Scally kid kicked off, wasn’t given his phone back. Went and texted his parent from a friend’s phone and she came in effing and blinding demanding the phone be given back. SLT happened to be talking to a community police officer at the time in the office. Officer told SLT to give her the phone back, I assume because they have no legal right to remove it. scally kid was of course delighted in his win and will have told all his friends that all they have to do is have a tantrum and get mummy to do the same and they get their phone back.

Ant phone policy has to be enforceable otherwise it’s unfair to ask staff on the frontline to deal with the flak from parents.

And no, SLT won’t tell such parents to move their kid to a different school. I wish they would.

TheFallenMadonna Tue 16-Jul-19 22:08:46

So, the PO told the SLT to give the phone back to the child? Schools are allowed to confiscate, within reason and assuming policies have been clearly communicated.

Legal advice

CheesecakeAddict Thu 18-Jul-19 19:33:21

We have a blanket ban on phones. It's great. They have to be handed into the office before morning registration and can be collected after school. Anyone found with a phone (even if it is switched off) gets an automatic 1 hour detention after school and a 7 day confiscation of the phone

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