We have clear restrictions on the use of mobile phones and headphones during the school day. If a student chooses to bring a mobile phone to school, it must be switched off and in their bag between 8.30am and 2.50pm. Headphones must also be in bags. This means that students must not use their phones/headphones during lessons, moving between lessons or at break or lunchtime. The only exception to this will be if their teacher asks them to use it explicitly for educational purposes during a lesson. After they have finished using it, they will be asked to switch it off and put it back in their bags.
We decided to introduce these restrictions due to the number of incidents of misuse of phones during the school day in past years and believe they get in the way of us running the school as effectively as we can. There is also an increasing amount of evidence illustrating the addictive nature of social media and the impact this may be having on young people's development. One of Facebook's founders, Sean Parker, has been publicly discussing his concerns about the impact social media is having on young people, Apple's investors have urged the tech giant to introduce limits on how long children use smart devices and there is growing concern about the way tech companies are manipulating young people for their financial gain (see references below).
We believe that school should be a place where young people can be free of the additional pressures that social media bring to the teenage years and that we have a duty of care to create a safe environment where they can focus on learning and taking part in the wide range of extra curricular activities on offer at Wood Green School. That is why we have introduced these tighter controls. Many schools locally and nationally have similar policies and we have explained in detail to our students the reasons why we have introduced these restrictions.
Our policy is that if a student is using their mobile phone between 8.30am and 2.50pm, it will be confiscated. It will be locked in a cupboard in main reception. The first time it is confiscated, they will be able to collect it at the end of the school day. Each time it is subsequently confiscated, a parent will have to collect it from main reception. Reception opening hours are 8.15am until 4pm, Monday to Friday. It will remain in a locked cupboard until the parent collects it. We will not normally contact a parent if a phone is confiscated but students can ask to use the phone in student reception at the end of the day to call their parents if they need to speak to them. If a parent cannot collect their child’s phone during normal office hours, they should contact the school and we will try to arrange another time for you to be able to collect the phone.
For the purposes of the policy, headphones and phones are the same thing, so if a student has headphones confiscated first and then a phone is the next thing confiscated, a parent will have to come and collect the phone as it is the second thing confiscated. Refusal to hand over any device will lead to the normal behaviour consequences for refusing to co-operate with a member of staff's reasonable request being applied.
We thank you for your support in helping us implement our policy and would encourage you to speak to your child about this and why we are doing it. As always, if you need to get an urgent message to your child, please call main reception and we can pass it on during the school day.