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Government pushes for nationwide ban on mobile phones in schools

Staff Reporter
February 19, 2024

The Government has has announced it is pushing for a sweeping prohibition on mobile phones in schools across the country in a bid to curb distractions and foster a safer learning environment.

Under the new guidelines, schools have been instructed to implement stringent measures to enforce the ban effectively. Options include requiring students to hand in their devices upon arrival, storing them securely until the end of the day, or adopting policies where phones are never seen, heard, or used during school hours.

Secretary of State for Education, Gillian Keegan cites concerns over the pervasive use of mobile devices leading to disruptions in classrooms, Keegan emphasized the need to prioritise students’ engagement and safety. With statistics revealing that one in three secondary school pupils admit to using mobile phones without permission during lessons, the move aims to alleviate not only individual distractions but also disruptions affecting entire classes.

Mobile phones risk unnecessary distraction, disruption and diversion”

Mobile phones risk unnecessary distraction, disruption and diversion. One in three secondary school pupils report that mobile phones are used in most lessons without permission.2 This not only distracts the single pupil using the phone, but disrupts the lesson for a whole class, and diverts teachers’ efforts away from learning” said Keegan.

We owe it to our children to do what we can to remove distractions and enable them to be fully present and engaged in the classroom. We also owe it to our pupils to keep them safe at school. One in five pupils have experienced bullying online.

Keegan: “Mobile phones risk unnecessary distraction, disruption and diversion

“By removing mobile phones from the school day, we can create a safe space where pupils are protected from the risks and dangers associated with social media and cyber-bullying, as well as the peer pressure and possible stigma associated with owning what are often expensive devices. This is why we are determined that all schools should prohibit the use of mobile phone throughout the school day – not only during lessons but break and lunchtimes”.

“The decision also stems from a growing awareness of online bullying, with one in five students reporting experiencing cyberbullying. By removing mobile phones from the school day, policymakers hope to create a secure space where students can avoid the pitfalls of social media pressures and digital harassment.

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