Mobile telephones to be banned at school below new plan | Politics | News | EUROtoday

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Mobile telephones look set to be banned in faculties with ministers issuing steering to the Department for Education to make sure consistency within the classroom.

Education secretary Gillian Keegan says it’s a vital step for the Government after unveiling the thought on the Tory celebration convention final October.

The promise was met with scepticism on the time, and one commerce union on Monday branded it a “non-policy for a non-problem”.

In England, it’s presently as much as particular person heads to determine their very own insurance policies on cell phones and whether or not they need to be banned.

The steering, which is non-statutory, instructs headteachers on the best way to ban the usage of telephones not solely throughout classes however throughout break and lunch intervals as effectively.

It additionally means that workers may search pupils and their baggage for cell phones if essential, noting that “headteachers can and should identify mobile phones and similar devices as something that may be searched for in their school behaviour policy”.

In a foreword to the doc, Ms Keegan stated it will present “clarity and consistency” for lecturers and that there’s presently “a large variation in how different schools are managing the use of mobile phones”.

In a press release, she stated: “Schools are places for children to learn and mobile phones are, at a minimum, an unwanted distraction in the classroom.

“We are giving our hard-working teachers the tools to take action to help improve behaviour and to allow them to do what they do best – teach.”

Tom Bennet, who advises the Department for Education on behaviour, stated: “Mobile phones may be ubiquitous, but we have a strong and growing understanding of how damaging they can be for a child’s social and educational development.

“And it’s the least advantaged who suffer most. Many schools already have some kind of policy on phones, but this guidance provides a clear steer for everyone, including parents, about what’s right and what’s not for the wellbeing of the child.

The Government pointed to recent official data that showed 29% of secondary school pupils reported mobile phones being used when not supposed to.

But the Association of School and College Leaders said it did not expect the new guidance to make any discernible impact.

General Secretary Geoff Barton said that the “compulsive use” of units was not taking place in faculties however “while children are out of school”.

He stated: “Most schools already forbid the use of mobile phones during the school day or allow their use only in limited and stipulated circumstances.

“We have lost count of the number of times that ministers have now announced a crackdown on mobile phones in schools. It is a non-policy for a non-problem.

“The Government would be far better off putting its energies into bringing to heel the online platforms via which children are able to access disturbing and extreme content.”