Mobile Phones Inhibiting Learning and Social Wellbeing

  • Post author:
  • Post category:News

Our school/home agreement has always been that mobile phones are necessary for travel and can support children safety before and after school. We recently revisited that view again, from a school perspective and from both a student and parent angle, accepting the importance that commutation facilities have on daily routines and student travel.

Increasingly however, mobile phones are an issue in the school day, despite the clear school policy that they should be off and put away. This request seems to be, more and more, blurred by both students and adults each day to the point that some feel mobile phones are allowed.

 

Constant access to mobile phones means that students are not receiving any respite from texts and social media during a school day. We are concerned about the impact this is having on their mental health and on learning and focus. For us, school is a time of safety, where students can immerse themselves in the school experience and be children. Unfortunately, the messages they are receiving during the school day, and addictive use without boundary, are compromising that environment for a significant number of children. Too often in schools, access to mobile phones and social media is cited in instances of bullying and the breakdown of friendships. This can be seen in messages being exchanged between students in school, but also from students in other. Regrettably a number of parents, and this is a rising and daily issue, have fallen into the habit of contacting their child during the school day. This happens without thought to the disruption on learning and lessons or the child’s day and focus.

In a number of cases, parents have chosen to deliver messages in a text or a phone call that would have been better delivered face to face in the home setting or through school reception. We would ask you to be mindful of the impact that your contact could have on your child in a classroom environment. If you could please leave any communication until after school or contact the school office where we can speak to your child privately or pass on a message, if it is appropriate to do so.

Too often we have negative experiences due to student-to-parent discussion around real-time issues and/or illness before school has even been made aware of the problem, or been given an opportunity to implement a remedy and inform home ourselves.

This is not the system The Oaks operates and it cannot be a method used by students or parents, going forwards. It is worth remembering you are not on site and only receiving a child’s version of a situation(s); please allow us to perform our roles, putting your child first. They are the terms and conditions that you accepted when bringing your child to our school.

I hope that in providing these examples you can see that there is too great an impact on a student’s ability to concentrate and continue their school day in the way required for good outcomes.

Learning is being undermined by having constant access and communication through their phone, this deflects concentration and focus; and there is an alarming consequence on emotional wellbeing from an environment with no breaks from phones! Having discussed the problems and necessities of students having a mobile phone, we would like to reinforce our current policy; one which we feel is an example of mutual respect. Students can bring phones to school, however, they must be turned off from 8:35am to home time, as our school policy. And they do not need to be checked during lesson changes as a student moves classroom, this change of focus is a major reason for issues in school. Please be mindful and supportive of our school policy and our expectations, this is not something we can ‘negotiate’ after the event. All stakeholders need to understand the schools position and policy and not plead mitigation afterwards. No phone during school hours.

In the first instance, students will have their phone confiscated and returned at the end of the school day. Future incidents may lead to the phone only being given to a parent/carer at their earliest convenience, but from this point forwards your child will have to hand their phone in during lesson time as trust has been broken – your child also needs to understand that a negative reaction towards staff due to phone issue(s) will not help matters, so please discuss this with them.

Understanding our expectations and supporting school to help your child understand them is crucial. Schools worked well for many years before students had, or needed, mobile phones, in fact these were our schooldays! 

Thank you for you support on this matter.

Mr Graham
Deputy Headeacher