Headteachers in the UK will be told to ban pupils from using mobile phones during the entire school day under new government guidance.The Department for Education wants children to be barred from using devices on breaks as well as in class.Education Secretary Gillian Keegan will announce the plans at the Conservative Party conference on Monday, October 2.
The government already encourages head teachers to limit phone usage and many schools have restrictions in place.
Gillian Keegan will ban smartphones from classrooms both during lessons and in break times to ensure pupils can concentrate, the Daily Mail reported.Sources close to the discussions say that Ms Keegan will issue new guidance to schools requiring them to put new measures in place to stop pupils from using their phones.A source told The Daily Mail: “Gillian believes that mobile phones pose a serious challenge in terms of distraction, disruptive behaviour, and bullying. It is one of the biggest issues that children and teachers have to grapple with so she will set out a way forward to empower teachers to ban mobiles from classrooms.”
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Mrs Keegan will set out the policy at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
A ban on devices in schools was previously proposed by then education secretary Gavin Williamson in 2021, when he warned that smartphones were “distracting” and “damaging”.
At the time, he said: “Mobile phones are not just distracting, but when misused or overused, they can have a damaging effect on a pupil’s mental health and wellbeing. I want to put an end to this, making the school day mobile-free.
“In order for us to help pupils overcome the challenges from the pandemic and level up opportunity for all young people, we need to ensure they can benefit from calm classrooms which support them to thrive.”