Mobile phone usage in school - information

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Information re: usage of mobile phones

 In recent weeks we have encountered a number of issues in relation to use of mobile phones both in school and outside school hours. Nationally there is a push from government to try and have a no mobile phone policy within schools. At present, we do not feel a need to go to such lengths, however we are becoming more concerned with the impact of student use of social media and the knock-on effects both in and out of school.

 Our current policy on use of mobile phones and headphones is in the student planner on page 29 and states that:

 -          From 8.30am to 3pm students are only permitted to use their mobile phones during social times, in their social area or outside the school building;

-          Use of mobile phones in any other area of the school or in any area of school during lesson time is forbidden, with confiscation systems in place as a consequence for incorrect use.

-          Headphones are not to be used anywhere in the school building between 8.30am and 3pm and will be confiscated if seen.

We do not want to go to a strict policy where mobile phones are banned in their entirety, as we appreciate that the vast majority of our students use their mobile phones appropriately and for suitable reasons; they can also have a positive impact on learning when used correctly in certain subject areas. However, if the ongoing issues we are facing that are negatively impacting on student conduct within school do not stop, we will have no option other than to take a firmer approach and have much stricter rules around mobile phone use within school.

 As a result of issues of social media misuse and malicious communications on mobile phones, we have also seen an extremely small number of students make poor choices and become physical in their responses. These behaviours will not be tolerated under any circumstances and strict action will be taken, as we are not willing to allow this to pose a risk to the safety of our students, staff or any visitors. We would encourage you to speak with your sons/daughters about proper use of social media; below is a link which gives some advice for parents around social media use.

 https://www.internetmatters.org/resources/social-media-top-tips-cards/ .

 We hope you will understand the need to share this message with you, and that you will support us in reiterating these messages to your sons/daughters. We will closely monitor the situation moving forward.

 

Stdents get regular advice, guidance and support in terms of safe use of the internet and technology, as well as how social media, when used inappropriately, can affect others. This education will continue through our Skills for Life curriculum, as well as through assemblies and external speakers.

Thank you for your continued support.