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Secondary education

Does your child's school restrict mobile phone usage?

112 replies

Toughlove70 · 27/02/2024 18:15

Do any of your kids' schools ban phones during school day including breaks? What are the penalties if pupils don't comply? Can you advise the name of the school so we can check the policy? We are in Scotland and virtually no schools ban phones and they say it is not effective in practise... we disagree... thanks

OP posts:
Winter42 · 27/02/2024 18:17

My children's school ban them and the school.inworkmatbhas done so relatively recently. It has had a huge positive impact.

If they are seen they are confiscated. If students refuse they get a detention.

Blankname22 · 27/02/2024 18:18

Not in Scotland. Very unclear policy here. Supposedly banned for being removed from pocket or bag between start and end of day, but I regularly hear about the students playing games at lunch, taking photos in class, etc.
I have asked the school for guidance, and was told they need phones for certain occasions, quizs, school app, etc,so cannot leave at home.
I do wish the policy was clearer and followed.
Not sharing school policy here, but it says no allowed to be used unlsEs directed by teacher.

LaPalmaLlama · 27/02/2024 18:21

My children are secondary age ( years 7&8) but at a prep school that goes up to year 8. No phones allowed at school. If you bring one it must stay in your bag or locker. If seen it’s confiscated and parents have to come and get it. Mine don’t take them as no point. Next year ds goes to another school. Same policy ( phones in bags only). Not sure of the consequences but parents say not an issue - I’m sure there are some addicts who will spend lunchtime on the loo so they can have their phones but not allowing them in sight does really break the spell.

Familiaritybreedscontemptso · 27/02/2024 18:25

In my dc’s school they have special pouches to lock their phones away in during the day so they can’t access them. They unlock them on special magnetic things at the end of the day. If phone not in pouch it’s confiscated & they get a detention. It works really well.

LaPalmaLlama · 27/02/2024 18:25

Should add I wonder if private schools find it easier as they are more easily able to say “ child needs x laptop which will be loaded with y software” so they don’t need to use apps. It’s all via a laptop which the school can control.

Sirzy · 27/02/2024 18:25

Ds school has a ban on phones being used by pupils during the day at all (unless they are given express permission by a staff member if a quick message needs sending or something)

if they are seen pupils are asked to switch it off and put it away. If they don’t they are confiscated for the rest of the day. To be honest though from what I hear the vast majority of pupils do stick to the rule

vivalasviva · 27/02/2024 18:26

My DCs school use Yondr pouches. Phones are locked away at the start of the first lesson and unlocked at the end of the school day.
Other school lock them in boxes all day.
Both policies been instigated in the last couple of years.

Smartiepants79 · 27/02/2024 18:28

We’re in England and yes they do. Phones are not to be seen in the building. If they get caught they get conduct marks and it’s removed til the end of the day.

RainbowsAndSkittles · 27/02/2024 18:29

Phones have to be put away, not allowed to use them in school. Not sure what would happen if caught with phone, but I don't think the boys want to risk it.

FKAT · 27/02/2024 18:30

Smartphones are banned at DS school (London state secondary) - being found with one is a 60 minute detention. Regular bag checks are done. You can take brick phones. DS doesn't take his in and it's fine. I'm really happy with the policy and also it helps prevent muggings because they know the kids aren't likely to be carrying a phone.

AmeliaEarhart · 27/02/2024 18:31

My son’s school has a phone ban. If a student’s phone is seen or heard it is confiscated and can only be collected by a parent/carer at the end of the school day. DS reports occasionally seeing kids with their phones out, but generally it seems to be an effective policy. It’s a big, inner London comprehensive with 1900 students and some challenging behaviour, so I’m impressed that they’ve implemented it with reasonable success.

OnceinaMinion · 27/02/2024 18:32

I assume it gets confiscated but DD always has it away. A teacher told her to take a photo so she could do some work at home tonight though, which seems sensible. Her art teacher has done the same. They’re useful for things like that.

There is a school near me where they are allowed to use the phones in class. DD was briefly still friends with a girl who went there and she seemed to make a lot of TikToks at lunchtime. I definitely didn’t want DD to go there.

I have worked in schools where phones were confiscated on sight. It actually wasn’t that many and it was a lot of repeat offenders. The government would be better off backing up schools rather than imposing ban on them. Some parents really overreact about it, screaming abuse about it etc (the same with jewellery).

Tontomonty · 27/02/2024 18:33

My teen is not allowed to use his phone in class but can use it a break and lunchtime. Unfortunately for him the school has a very poor signal so he can’t use it for much! We are in Scotland too. I don’t mind this rule, as it doesn’t impact their school work. Their phones would be confiscated for the class time if caught on it.

dildeewana · 27/02/2024 18:36

One DD in secondary in Wales. Phones are banned during school time Including breaks..if a phone is seen or heard it is removed and the child gets it back at the end of the day. If 2 strikes in a week the phone has to be collected by a parent. It seems that the embarrassment of that is enough of a deterrent to not get caught more than once.

I think it's a well respected policy and it seems to have greatly reduced distractions during lessons.

DinnaeFashYersel · 27/02/2024 18:36

Also in Scotland

Primary School - phone has to be handed in to reception on arrival and collected at end of day.

High school - they aren't allowed to use them in class and get it confiscated for the lesson if caught doing do. Repeat behaviour gets reported to parents.

twistyizzy · 27/02/2024 18:39

DDs English secondary school have complete phone ban. Kids have to hand phones in at morning registration and get them back at the end of the day. Totally agree with this policy. Only Yrs 12 + 13 can have their phones in school but use is strictly limited.

K0OLA1D · 27/02/2024 18:43

My DS regularly texts either me or DP to allow him access to download apps or searches on Google which his teachers have asked him to download. He isn't allowed it out without permission though. Year 7

AugustRose · 27/02/2024 18:47

DS's ( year 8) school allows phones at break times but only outside. However, some teachers allow (and almost expect) the kids to use their phones to look stuff up online if it's relevant to the class. This caused DD (when she was still there) some problems because her first phone didn't have data, only phone and text for emergencies if she missed the school bus or was ill. Some kids don't have phones and this has been raised with the school but as they don't have access to laptops in all lessons it continues.

gotohellforheavenssake · 27/02/2024 18:53

Zero tolerance at my school, and been in place for 5+ years. Phones are placed in named zip lock bags in a safe during morning registration and handed out at the end of the day by each form teacher. Student arriving late or leaving early hand phone in at reception. If a student is caught using a phone before registration on school property or before they have left the building at the end of the day, it is confiscated and they receive an automatic 1 hour headteacher detention. If they use it on school grounds to photograph, record, post unkind things about or bully other students they will have a fixed term suspension. If a student needs to communicate with a parent during the day it is done via the office/reception.

Jeannie88 · 27/02/2024 18:58

I work in different schools and most, if not all, allow them to carry them in their pockets, switched off (yeah right!). I've found schools in wealthier areas more relaxed and let them use them during breaks and in classrooms for learning, other areas amd Academies with challenging behaviour they are not allowed access at all until they walk outside the school gates. Same for staff as a rule. Xx

Meadowfinch · 27/02/2024 18:59

Yes. All phones must be locked in Faraday pouches and deposited in a rack in the morning. Unlocked and returned at 4pm each day.

Any pupil caught with a phone faced confiscation & detention. No exceptions.

Bullying & disruption have dropped off a cliff since.

Dacadactyl · 27/02/2024 19:00

Yes, DDs school did this for the entire 5 years she was there. She left after GCSEs last year and this absolutely fantastic policy is still being implemented there.

If a phone was even spotted by a teacher, it was immediately confiscated and a parent had to go and collect it. They wouldn't give it back to the pupil and if a parent couldn't get to school for whatever reason, they just kept it until they could.

It's the best school in the Borough for a reason and that's because they don't do ifs or buts.


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OhCrumbsWhereNow · 27/02/2024 19:46

Officially switched off and in bag. If seen confiscated and detention.

Unofficially they use them a lot to look things up, quizzes, apps etc, but no phone use in lunch breaks etc.

A lot of the kids seem to have Apple watches and use those to text during the day.

Workawayxx · 27/02/2024 19:54

I’m in Oxfordshire and DS’s school say no phones but accept pupils will have them on them for journey to school, ringing parents after school etc. Phones aren’t to be seen though. I can’t remember the exact sequence of sanctions but it’s something like confiscated till end of day if seen, end of week if it happens 3 times and a parent must pick up on Friday after school, confiscated till end of term if that happens again. I’m pretty lax with my DS’s phone use/screen time but can’t see any reason why schools wouldn’t implement this or similar. Phone use in schools must make their jobs 10 x harder.

CrushingOnRubies · 27/02/2024 20:01

Have to be away in bags at all times and on silent.

Some kids at our school travel up to 10 miles to get to school. Very rural so it wouldn't be sensible for an outright ban due to in case bus breaks down etc. If caught out they are handed in to staff and given back at end of the day.

It's a large school so a check in with staff system wouldn't work.

Also school encourages the use of some apps on phones so are needed for that with permission

Special arrangements are used for kids such as those with diabetes who need their phone to check their blood sugar levels

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