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Surrey headteacher backs calls to ban mobiles at school

3 minute read
Surrey headteacher backs calls to ban mobiles at school

Published by the Eagle Radio News Team at 6:23pm 4th September 2018. (Updated at 6:25pm 4th September 2018)

A Surrey headteacher is backing calls for mobile phones to be banned in all schools.

As pupils and teachers prepare to return after the summer break, a new study released today suggests 70 per cent of parents think they could distract their children in class.

And even more parents (93%) say there should be greater governance around the use of mobiles during school hours.

The findings comes from a poll commissioned by cyber security specialists ESET UK in response to France's decision to ban students up to the age of 15 from using mobile phones anywhere on school grounds.

The French law, prompted by concerns around young people becoming addicted to their smart phones, comes into effect this month.

Duke of Kent School in Ewhurst doesn't allow pupils to have their phones at all. If they travel by bus, they have to hand in their phone at the front office once they arrive. 

Felix Mcdonald, headteacher there said: "If people are bringing their phones, we want them to be handed in. We don't want them on them at break time or communicating with each other on their phones, whilst they are at school. We want them to be talking face-to-face."

"We don't want social media being brought into school, because there is enough of that at home. We feel they have plenty of time on their phones when they're at home and at the weekends - they just don't need to do it at school."

While today's findings reveals that around a quarter of parents feel their child is not safe in relation to online threats during school time, almost the same number said they would feel anxious or nervous if their child was banned from having access to their mobile phone at school.

"We feel that if pupils need to get hold of one of their parents, then they can come to one of our offices at any time and ask to ring home", Mr McDonald explains. 

Duke of Kent School believes that they overall impact on its pupils from banning mobile phones is a positive one.

"They are very capable pupils when they leave school. They really are happy with social situations, they are happy talking to adults. They find it easy meeting other people of their own age."

"We don't know what it is like to be in a school where they all have phones, so maybe there is not a huge difference but we can see that they are very sociable kids and they have a great deal of confidence as a result of this."

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