Engeland: Secondary schools are introducing strict new bans on mobile phones

maandag, 25 juni 2018 - Categorie: Berichten Internationaal

Bron 1: www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/24/secondary-schools-introducing-strict-new-bans-mobile-phones/
24 juni 2018

Secondary schools are introducing strict new bans on mobile phones where all pupils aged up to 16 have to lock them away for the entire day after evidence that it makes children more sociable, alert and active.

From September pupils aged 11 to 16 who own phones at the schools will be required either to hand them in or put them in their lockers when they arrive for registration and only get them back when they leave in the afternoon.

The sea-change in approach coincides with an appeal last week by culture secretary Matthew Hancock in The Daily Telegraph for schools to ban smart phones during the school day. It comes as this newspaper campaigns for a legal duty of care to protect children from digital harms.

Typical is Latymer Upper school in west London where its ban on phones is to be extended to all children up to the end of their GCSE years after its success in restricting access to younger pupils.

The independent school said its ban on mobile phones for pupils aged 11 to 13 had been “incredibly positive” with an increase in children playing outside, attending clubs and societies and socialising with each other.

From September all pupils from 11 to 16 will have to switch off their phones and put them in their lockers from 8.25am to 4pm with parents told they should ring the school if they need to contact their sons or daughters.

Assistant head Matthew Chataway said: “It’s not a question of taking a device away from students, but rather giving them back time, the opportunity to try new activities and the chance to take a break from social media.”

Graveney, a top performing comprehensive,in south London, has introduced a ban where pupils aged 11 to 16 are expected to hand in their phones to their year office when they arrive and collect them when they finish school.

“If phones have not been handed in and are seen or heard during the school day, they will be confiscated and handed into the Year Office. If a phone is confiscated for a second time, parents will be contacted and asked to come into school to collect it,” its policy states.

Tanya Goodin, founder of consultancy on digital health Time to Log Off, said 70% of the 100 schools she advised on tech detox had or were introducing bans on mobile phone use. She said they were effective when schools got parents and pupils to sign up to a “code of conduct” contract.

“A hard copy ‘smart phone code of conduct’ contract re-signed by the school, parent and pupil each academic year requires parents to take this seriously and commit in writing to supporting the school,” she said.

“You’ll still have parents who won’t sign or take it seriously but they’ll be in the minority in each year group which makes the job of the school and lives of the other parents in each year much easier.”

As an alternative to lock-aways, other schools such as Fortismere in north London have banned pupils aged 11 to 16 from bringing them onto their premises during the school day.

Others like West Buckland School, Somerset, have introduced “invisibility” policies where pupils have to keep phones out of sight and switched off during and between lessons. At Shiplake college, Henley-on-Thames, any child caught with a phone between 8am and 5.45pm gets a detention.

Some such as Ipswich School ban them for pupils 13 or under during the school day but older pupils in Year 10 and above are allowed to use them for a minute at a time in constructive ways such as taking a picture of a timetable or notice.

The phenomenal pull of mobile phones has been demonstrated in a study by Harvard Business Review which found people’s concentration could be disrupted even by the presence of a switched-off phone on their desks.

In two tests of cognitive ability involving 800 people, participants who left their switched off phones outside the room achieved “statistically significant” better results than those who left them in their pockets who, in turn, scored higher than those who left them on their desks.

The researchers said it was a fundamental human trait to automatically pay attention to things that are habitually relevant to us, even when they are focused on a different task such as turning our heads when your name is called.

“The mere presence of our smartphones is like the sound of our names — they are constantly calling to us, exerting a gravitational pull on our attention,” they said.

Bron 2: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5871193/New-law-ban-mobile-phones-schools.html
21 juni 2018

New law should ban mobile phones from schools to stop pupils 'sexting and texting' in class says former head of Ofsted inspectors

. Sir Michael Wilshaw has said that mobile phones in school 'far too distracting'
. Ban would mean punishments for those who disobey and potential court action
. Sir Michael is former head teacher and known for tough approach to discipline

England should bring in a new law banning mobile phones in schools to stop pupils ‘sexting and texting’ during class, the former head of Ofsted has said.

Sir Michael Wilshaw urged the government to make it illegal for children to have phones on school premises because they are ‘far too distracting’.

If implemented, the ban would mean punishments for pupils who disobey - and in extreme instances could even result in court action against parents.

Sir Michael, who led Ofsted until last year, is a former head teacher and has become known for his tough approach to discipline.

His comments come amid growing debate about the issue of phones in schools, with Culture Secretary Matt Hancock saying this week he admires head teachers who do not allow their use during the school day.

In France, a new law has just been passed which bans students from using mobile phones anywhere on school grounds from this September.

Asked about the issue yesterday at the Festival of Education at Wellington College, Berkshire, Sir Michael said that ‘any sensible head would ban mobile phones’.

‘It’s interesting that President Macron is now bringing in legislation in France to ban mobile phones in state schools in France,’ he said.

‘We should do the same here. It’s far too distracting for children having mobile phones.

'Texting, sexting, all this takes place. Mobile phones go off in classrooms, disrupting lessons. Ban them.

‘If children want to use a phone in an emergency they can use the school phone.’

In France, the government has said individual schools should decide how they will enforce the ban.

It has been suggested that pupils could hand in their phones at the start of each school day and receive them back at the end of the day.

This would mean children could still have their devices during the journeys to and from school, which they may need for safety reasons.

Current Ofsted boss Amanda Spielman is also throwing her weight behind school leaders who ban the devices, telling the Festival that the place of smartphones in the classroom is ‘dubious at best’.

However, Sir Michael is the first to suggest that a ban on mobile phones in schools should be enshrined in law.

During his wide-ranging discussion, Mr Wilshaw also angering teachers by saying there are some who ‘knock off at 3.30’ and are ‘lazy’.

‘There is an education establishment out there that doesn’t like change, doesn’t like people like me saying “you’ve got some people in your own profession who are lazy and feckless and you need to get rid of them”,’ he said.

‘They don’t like that. There is an education establishment that doesn’t like change and reform.’

Sir Michael suggested that the teaching profession can be ‘defensive’ and would say that all teachers are hard-working and professional.

‘They’re not,’ he said.

‘I’ve been teaching for 43 years, head teacher for over 30. Not all teachers are professional, not all teachers are committed, not all teachers do their best.’

It is the job of a head teacher to identify those that do their best, and those that do not, he added.

However, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said: ‘Teachers work more unpaid overtime than any other profession, much of it unnecessary work driven by the fear of Ofsted inspections.

‘Sir Michael Wilshaw significantly contributed to an atmosphere in schools where it is presumed that something is not done unless it is written down and documented.

‘This culture of low trust is one of the major factors driving teachers from the profession, and this is lowering standards of education in England.’

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