The debate as to whether children should be allowed to bring phones into school has raged for quite some time, with the French government notably taking a firm step of banning phones in primary, junior and middle schools from September. A number of other countries around the world are deciding whether to follow France’s lead.
Yesterday the Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has entered this debate by stating his belief that phones should not only be banned from our classrooms, but that they should be confiscated from children who bring them into school to prevent them being used during the school day.
“While it is up to individual schools to decide rather than government, I admire headteachers who do not allow mobiles to be used during the school day. I encourage more schools to follow their lead… Studies have shown that mobile phones can have a real impact on working memory and fluid intelligence, even if the phone is on a table or in a bag.”
Matt Hancock, Culture Secretary writing in the Daily Telegraph
It does seem that increasing numbers of schools are beginning to take this firmer approach, while others remain determined to try to allow pupils access to the positive learning opportunities that smartphones provide. Whichever route a school goes, they must still continue to address the ever-changing issues of online safety as children will have to deal with Internet-based problems outside the school gates. As Matt Hancock states, “schools must play a part in protecting our children in the digital age”. Please take a look at how the OSA Certificate of Online Safety can help your school meet this important requirement.