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Thursday, June 13, 2024

UK govt imposes complete ban on mobile phones in schools

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London: The UK authorities are banning the use of mobile phones throughout the school day in a bid to improve students’ behaviour and attention, prevent disruption to lessons, and protect children from cyberbullying and anxiety, the UK Education Ministry said on Monday.

The ministry has issued guidance for head teachers, teachers, and school staff, which contains instructions on how to ban the use of mobile phones in schools.

“We are determined that all schools should prohibit the use of mobile phones throughout the school day—not only during lessons but during breaks and lunchtimes as well,” the guidance read.

The document suggested four different scenarios for implementing the ban, including a total ban that requires students to leave their devices at home, one that requires them to turn them in to school staff upon arrival, an option that requires them to keep the phones in secure storage, and the “never used, seen, or heard” option. The latter allows students to keep their devices within easy reach under the condition that they never use them.

“Mobile phones risk unnecessary distraction, disruption, and diversion… By removing mobile phones from the school day, we can create a safe space where pupils are protected from the risks and dangers associated with social media and cyberbullying, as well as the peer pressure and possible stigma associated with owning what are often expensive devices,” the document added.

Students who violate the new rules will receive detention or face phone confiscation, the guidance said, authorising teachers to search backpacks for the devices as well as ensuring their legal protection from possible lawsuits related to the loss or damage of the phones they confiscate.

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