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Mobile phone rules to change forever as Government looks to introduce ban

Mobile phone rules to change forever as Government looks to introduce ban

It'll be a big change to the rules

Rules around mobile phones are set to change forever as the Government pushes ahead with new rules effectively banning them from certain areas.

New guidance has been published by the Department for Education says it would ensure consistency throughout England with new blanket-rules that everyone may be made follow.

The guidance was praised by Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, who hailed it as a significant step going forward.

What exactly does it focus on?

Well, it's bad news for schoolchildren as it looks like mobile phones will be banned from schools permanently.

And that's not just in class - where it's already accepted you shouldn't be on your device - but also at break and lunch times too.

It means that you may well find yourself searched for your phone if you try and bring it to school on the sly, according to the new guidance.

The ban was first mooted in October 2023 by Keegan at the Tory Party conference.

In England, it is currently up to individual heads to decide their own policies on mobile phones and whether they should be banned.

The guidance, which is non-statutory, instructs headteachers on how to ban the use of phones not only during lessons but during break and lunch periods as well.

It's not good news for school kids.
Getty Stock Image

It also suggests that staff could search pupils and their bags for mobile phones if necessary, noting that 'headteachers can and should identify mobile phones and similar devices as something that may be searched for in their school behaviour policy'.

In a foreword to the document, Keegan said it would provide 'clarity and consistency' for teachers and that there is currently 'a large variation in how different schools are managing the use of mobile phones'.

In a statement, she said: “Schools are places for children to learn and mobile phones are, at a minimum, an unwanted distraction in the classroom. We are giving our hard-working teachers the tools to take action to help improve behaviour and to allow them to do what they do best - teach.”

Tom Bennett, who advises the Department for Education on behaviour, said: “Mobile phones may be ubiquitous, but we have a strong and growing understanding of how damaging they can be for a child’s social and educational development.

Children wont be allowed to use their phones during breaks or lunch.
Getty Stock Image

“And it’s the least advantaged who suffer most. Many schools already have some kind of policy on phones, but this guidance provides a clear steer for everyone, including parents, about what’s right and what’s not for the wellbeing of the child."

The Government pointed to recent official data that showed 29 percent of secondary school pupils reported mobile phones being used when not supposed to. But the Association of School and College Leaders said it did not expect the new guidance to make any discernible impact.

General Secretary Geoff Barton said that the 'compulsive use' of devices was not happening in schools but 'while children are out of school'.

He said: “Most schools already forbid the use of mobile phones during the school day or allow their use only in limited and stipulated circumstances.

Everyone knows someone who has had their phone confiscated during school.
Getty Stock Image

“We have lost count of the number of times that ministers have now announced a crackdown on mobile phones in schools. It is a non-policy for a non-problem.

“The Government would be far better off putting its energies into bringing to heel the online platforms via which children are able to access disturbing and extreme content.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Education, Parenting, Technology, UK News, Phones