Mobile devices have become a key part of everyday life for most and young people and adults. Mobile devices are a vital form of communication in the 21st century and given this, it is perhaps unreasonable to ban pupils from taking them to school. However, we need clear guidelines related to their use in school, adhering to Highland Council recommendations.

Positive aspects of their use

  • Can be used on the classroom to enhance learning.
  • Use of educational applications.
  • Use of electronic diaries and calendars.
  • Access to school social media.
  • Social use during break and lunchtime.

Negative aspects of their use

  • They can be used can be used to bully and create conflict between pupils and staff.
  • Their use in class can undermine classroom discipline distracting the teacher and class from learning and teaching.
  • The misuse of mobile devices with cameras could lead to child protection and data protection issues.
  • They are valuable items which could be lost or stolen
  • Health and safety issues arise from their use when pupils move between periods.

 

As stated in the opening paragraph, it may be unreasonable to ban their total use in school but the following directions for their use must be followed:

  • Mobile devices should be switched off and kept out of sight during classroom lessons and while moving between lessons and same applies to headphones.
  • To be clear, phones should be switched off at 8.40 and not switched on again until 11.20. They should then be switched off at 11.35 until 1.15, then switched back off at 2.00 until the end of the day. Please note these instructions also apply to pupils who have study periods.
  • The photographing, videoing or recording of a member of staff, other pupil or other person, without their permission, is unacceptable and shouldn’t happen. It is also unacceptable to distribute the image or recording, to any other person by any means, e.g. mobile device, email and social networking site. Any pupil found to have done so will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include a referral to the police.
  • If at any point a pupil misuses their device or refuses to follow the above rules, any member of staff can ask for the device to be handed over to them, then passed to the year Head or Rector to be collected by the pupil at the end of the day.
  • Refusal to give up the mobile device/electronic device will be dealt with as with any other incident where a pupil refuses to follow a reasonable instruction given to them by a member of staff and appropriate disciplinary consequences will apply.
  • If a pupil persistently breaches the rules, following a clear warning, the Year Head may impose an outright ban from bringing a mobile device to school. This will involve a discussion with the young person’s parents/carers.
  • Bullying by mobile device or social networking sites which impacts on other pupils in school will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s Anti-Bullying policy.

 

Please note the school will not accept responsibility, or liability for loss of, or damage to these items, which are brought to school.

Existing guidance and policy documents:

  1. Social Media Policy (Highland Council, 2013) https://www.highland.gov.uk/social_media_policy_and_guidance
  2. Digital Citizenship E-Safety Policy https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qVRzXS2EOzkvQ7eguXhM7LF29VLjUpn/view?usp=sharing
  3. Professional Guidance on the use of Electronic Communication and Social Media (GTCS) http://www.gtcs.org.uk/web/FILES/FormUploads/ecomms-social-media-guidance-pd.pdf
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