Changes to Mobile Phone Policy
Thursday 30th June 2022
Dear Parents and Carers
Change to the Mobile Phone Policy
We would like to thank all members of the school community who responded to our consultation on the use of mobile phones by students. We are also grateful to the parents who gave up their time to take part in our focus groups that were led by Ms Hirst. As well as seeking the views of all stakeholders, we have also reflected on the national research and considered the local picture by examining the mobile phone policies of our local secondary schools to ensure that we are not implementing a change that is out of kilter with other local settings.
There is an overwhelming consensus that mobile phone use must not be allowed to adversely affect the learning environment with 87% of parents and staff who completed the survey agreeing or strongly agreeing to a change in the policy. Students, as you might expect, were less in favour of a change but there was a recognition that phones have disrupted their learning and this needs to be addressed. As we outlined in the letter sent in April, nationwide research supports a move towards students having less access to phones during school time to help them focus and be able to fully concentrate in their lessons which, in turn, helps them to make progress.
Based on all of the information that we have gathered since we first contacted you about our plans to review mobile phone use at Ansford, we have decided to adopt the following approach:
- Students are able to have a mobile phone in their bags whilst at school. However, this must be switched off whilst at school.
- Mobile phones must not be visible or used by students anywhere on the school site between 8.30am and 3.30pm unless directed to do so by a member of staff e.g. by a teacher to support learning
- Students who need to call home during a break or lunchtime can do so at reception or at the Heads of Year office.
- Any student who has a mobile phone out will be asked to hand their phone to the member of staff. The phone will be held securely for the remainder of the day and can be collected from reception at the end of the school day. Refusal to do this will result in a sanction.
- We will be monitoring closely how students respond to these changes. Where students repeatedly have their phone confiscated, we will require parents or carers to telephone reception to make an appointment to collect the mobile phone; any confiscated mobile phone will be locked away until it is collected.
There are of course some exceptions that we cannot, and would not want, to ignore. Some students have a significant medical condition (diabetes for example) where the phone is essential for monitoring health and these students, who are known to us, will be allowed their phone for these reasons only. These cases will be agreed and communicated in advance with parents to avoid any concerns.
We will be trialling the new approach from Monday 11th July. The reason we have chosen to introduce the changes before the end of the academic year is so that we can work together to identify and eliminate any problems ahead of the new academic year. Ms Hirst and the Heads of Year will be delivering assemblies to all students during the week commencing Monday July 4th to explain the changes and the reasons for them. This will be followed up by tutors during tutor time. This will enable us to use the final two weeks of the academic year to iron out any problems and gather further feedback on the implementation of the changes before we start the new academic year.
We have gathered questions that have arisen during the consultation process and have provided answers to the most common ones in our frequently asked questions below. If you have a question that is not covered in the list, please contact Ms Hirst, who is leading the changes, by email at: email@example.com.
We hope that these changes will lead to positive changes within the community and that, with the robust support of parents, we can avoid the need to confiscate too many phones.
Head of Year 7 and Transition