To ban or not ban mobile phones in schools - the debate continues
Back in June, Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector, supported schools who ban mobile phones, stating that their use in the classroom was "dubious" and that technology was to blame for "low-level disruption". This appeared to be supported by an LSE study which indicated that the banning of smartphones in schools boosted results. You can read more in our previous blog.
These comments and findings would suggest that a ban would be a positive action, although this is only seemingly supported in principle by the DfE.
In a recent speech at the Confederation of Schools Trusts conference, Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, made reference to the recent ban in France. In his speech he stated that he believes "that kids in schools should not be on their phones", adding "I strongly support schools that ban phones. But when people asked me if I was going to follow the example of France and impose a national ban – I said no".
This leaves schools with the option to make the decision based on their own school experiences.
As reported in the Telegraph recently, schools are taking a number of different actions, from banning phones from school premises, having children hand in phones on arrival at school, "invisibility" polices and so on, supported by acceptable usage polices from both the students and parents.
However, taking a different approach is as school in Folkestone. Just last week, Kent Online reported that Folkestone School for Girls is not banning phones as they find them to be "valuable learning resources". The headteacher added "We do not have an endless list of dos and don'ts and trust and respect our girls to make informed and intelligent decisions about their own behaviour"