Tuesday April 16, 2024

333 Britain issues guidance on prohibiting phone use in school

Published : 20 Feb 2024, 02:26

  DF News Desk
Pixabay File Photo.

Schools across England on Monday received new guidance issued by the British government on prohibiting the use of mobile phones throughout the school day, including at break times, reported Xinhua.

The Department for Education said that the move was "part of the government's plan to minimize disruption and improve behavior in classrooms."

Statistics show that 97 percent of students own a mobile phone by the age of 12. Additionally, a third of secondary school pupils reported mobile phones being used in most lessons without permission, while one in five pupils have experienced online bullying.

"Schools are places for children to learn and mobile phones are, at a minimum, an unwanted distraction in the classroom," Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said in a statement.

In the guidance, there were examples of approaches to achieve a mobile phone-free environment, including banning phones from the school premises, handing in phones on arrival at school, and keeping phones securely locked away at school.

The guidance also suggested that headteachers or authorized staff "have a statutory power to search a pupil or their possessions" if they have reasonable grounds to suspect the student is in possession of a prohibited item.

However, the guidance is non-statutory, meaning it does not have the force of law itself.

In response to the new guidance, Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), called the government's move "a non-policy for a non-problem," given that most schools already forbid mobile phone use during the school day.

"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," Barton added.