Dear parent / carer,
A real focus for us as a school is to ensure the very best climate for learning, so that pupils are fully prepared for lessons, any distraction is eliminated and ultimately our children progress and succeed. We have increasingly found that the use of mobile phones by pupils in school is causing a distraction and confrontation in lessons and is creating negative issues between pupils on social media.
We have made the decision to follow the lead of other schools in Swansea to ban the use of mobile phones during the school day because of the negative impact on pupil learning and wellbeing. The decision has not been taken lightly as we have undertaken significant research into the topic to consider all the issues.
We have discovered that:
- In the UK more than 90% of teenagers own a mobile phone. In a survey conducted in 2001, no schools banned mobile phones. By 2007, this had risen to 50% and by 2017 over 98% of schools either, did not allow mobile phones on school premises, or, required them to be handed in at the beginning of the school day.
- Most local schools do not allow pupils to access their phones during the school day.
- Our experience at Morriston is that mobile phones are increasingly involved in creating confrontation between staff and pupils as well as between their peers. The use of mobile phones has led to a number of safeguarding issues and cyber bullying.
- There is growing evidence to suggest that the internet and digital devices are making it harder for children to concentrate. Recent research suggests that young people who spend a lot of time alone using technology tend to have less in the way of communication skills, self-awareness and emotional intelligence.
- There is a clear correlation between the constant use of social media and a negative impact on mental health.
The decision has been taken that the policy will be implemented after the May half term holiday, commencing 3rd June 2019. Pupils will receive information regarding the approach via their form tutors and assembly.
- Any mobile phone [including headphones] which is being used or visible anywhere on the school site during the school day will be confiscated by the member of staff observing the use of the phone and be stored securely in reception.
- On the first occasion, the phone will be returned to the pupil at the end of the school day.
- On any subsequent occasion, the phone will be returned to the pupil’s parent/carer who will need to make mutually convenient arrangements with the school to collect it.
- Should pupils need to contact parents/carers, they are asked to see their Progress Leader/attendance office staff.
- Parents are requested to contact reception if they need to pass a message to their son or daughter. All pupils in years 7-11 are provided with a school planner which enables them to record homework and their timetable so that they will not need to access their phone during the day.
Members of the sixth form should adhere to this policy, however, they may use mobile phones in the designated sixth form social area and work area.
The policy will be available on the website and use of mobile phones will be included within the prospectus to ensure clarity.
We would ask that you discuss this with your child and thank you in advance for your support. We appreciate that for many of our pupils this is a significant change but we strongly feel that this decision will bring positive benefits to their learning and wellbeing.
Mr M Franklin