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Mobile Phones Are Set To Be Banned In UK Schools

by : Hannah Smith on : 29 Jun 2021 08:48
Mobile Phones Are Set To Be Banned In UK SchoolsPA Images/Shutterstock

Education secretary Gavin Williamson has called for mobile phones to be banned from UK schools to improve ‘poor discipline’ in classrooms.

Williamson announced the plans as part of the launch of a major review into pupil behaviour and discipline in schools, with the government calling for ‘calm classrooms’ to help students catch up on lost learning time following the pandemic.

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In a statement announcing the consultation, Williamson said:

Mobile phones are not just distracting, but when misused or overused, they can have a damaging effect on a pupil’s mental health and wellbeing, I want to put an end to this, making the school day mobile-free.

Mobile phones could be banned from schools following new consultation (PA Images)PA Images

The plans have received swift backlash from headteachers and teaching unions who argue that discipline matters should be left up to individual schools.

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Most schools already ban students from using their phones during school hours, while some have said that forcing students to hand in their devices or leave them at home is both impractical and unenforceable.

‘In reality, every school will already have a robust policy on the use of mobile phones; it isn’t some sort of digital free-for-all,’ said Geoff Barton general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, per The Guardian.

Gavin Williamson blames mobile phones for 'poor discipline' (PA Images)PA Images

‘Frankly, school and college leaders would prefer the education secretary to be delivering an ambitious post-pandemic recovery plan and setting out how he intends to minimise educational disruption next term, rather than playing to backbenchers on the subject of behaviour.’

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Other education leaders said that a total ban would ’cause more problems than it solves’.

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said mobile phones in schools were ‘frequently enabling harassment and abuse’, but acknowledged that ‘banning phones in schools does not stop harassment and abuse going on outside schools’.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: News, Education, mobile phones, no-article-matching, Now, School, UK, UK Politics

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The Guardian
  1. The Guardian

    Education secretary wants ban on mobile phones in English schools