Mobile Phones

As we approach the end of the first term of the year, the staff team have spent a great deal of time discussing the impact of the use of mobile phones and electronic devices both in school and whilst on school led activities outside of school. We are constantly weighing up the obvious benefits to out students with the downsides of having mobile phones and electronic devices whilst in school and in the community.

As ever, with the safeguarding of all our young people being a priority, it is our experience that mobile phones and electronic devices are increasingly causing safeguarding challenges. Due to the nature of what it is possible for students to do and access, it is impossible to keep a constant check on how they are being used. With advances in technology, everyone has the capability of posting information and pictures on the internet in the blink of an eye. This can obviously have major reprecussions to both individuals and the school and poses a huge safeguarding challenge.

In looking for a way forward we have researched schools across the country and found that 98% of all schools either do not allow mobile phones and electronic devices on school at all, or they are required to be handed in at the beginning of the day and collected at the end of the day. This includes all other schools in the Trust.

Taking into consideration the needs of our students and those that are independently travel trained, it has been decided that from the start of next term (January 2019) we will operate a policy of all electronic devices being handed in during tutor time at the start of the school day. Devices will be bagged with students’ names on and will be stored in a safe during the day. Students will then be able to claim them at taxi time/leaving time at the end of the day.
This will allow independently travel trained students to still have their mobile phone incase of emergency. In terms of residentials, you will be informed as to the exact policy for each individual trip in information packs due to the length and nature of these trips being very different.

Students who do not hand their electronic devices in will be seen as a safeguarding concern and their devices will be confiscated. A phonecall home will be made to discuss whether or not the young person will be able to continue to bring their devices in to school.

Students have been informed of the changes to electronic device rules.

We look forward to seeing you at celebration events in the final week of term and trust you fully to appreciate and support us with the safeguarding reasoning behind the school having to take such actions.

 

Yours sincerely,

Glen Richardson
Assistant Head