Headteacher Letter 6th Apr 2022 - Mobile Phone Policy
6th April 2022
Dear Parents and Carers
Parent Consultation: Change to the Mobile Phone Policy
Mobile phones and social media are a part of students’ lives and currently they are part of student’s life at school as they are able to bring their phones to school and can use them throughout break and lunch as well as in lessons as a teaching tool. However, their use in school does not always have a positive impact on learning or on the development of relationships.
Although there are arguably benefits to mobile phone technology, we have found that as phones have developed more features, they are increasingly distracting students from their core learning. 'Alerts' from social media platforms, emails, texts and calls during the school day are proving too difficult for students to 'resist' checking and responding to. In addition, the facility to listen to music, play games, take photographs/video without others’ permission can be too tempting to ignore.
UK research has found that introducing a mobile phone ban in schools increased students’ GCSE scores, especially for lower-achieving students. The results suggest that schools could significantly reduce the academic attainment gap across students by implementing a mobile phone ban. Other studies, such as a Science Direct study in 2021, support more limited use in school time. They found that screen time is associated with lower psychological well-being, more distractibility, more difficulty making friends, less emotional stability, being more difficult to care for, and inability to finish tasks. They also identified the following:
- More hours of screen time are associated with lower well-being in ages 2 to 17.
- High users show less curiosity, self-control, and emotional stability.
- Twice as many high (vs. low) users of screens had an anxiety or depression diagnosis.
- Non-users and low users did not differ in well-being.
- Associations with well-being were larger for adolescents than for children.
Before we make any changes, we are keen to gather views from staff, students and parents about how we can change our mobile phone policy to ensure it works well in our school community. We would be most grateful if you could take a few moments to complete this survey.
Following this survey, which will present us with some useful data about your views, we will be seeking to find out more about your opinions through a consultation group. Please let Ms Hirst know if you would be interested in being part of this group by emailing her on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once our consultation is complete, we will plan carefully how to introduce any changes so that the changes are successful. Thank you for taking the time to share your views.