The use of mobile phones in schools is one of a number of areas being looked at by the Government as part of a review of behaviour in schools.
The Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has today (29 June) launched a call for evidence asking teachers, parents and other staff for their views and policies on managing good behaviour, ahead of planned updates to Government guidance later this year on behaviour, discipline, suspensions and permanent exclusions.
The six-week consultation seeks views on how schools maintain calm classrooms, the use of removal rooms and creating mobile phone-free school days, among other measures.
This next step follows the department’s £10 million behaviour hubs programme which partners heads and leaders from England’s highest performing multi-academy trusts with schools struggling with poor behaviour and discipline.
The move follows the Education Secretary’s speech to the Confederation of School Trusts earlier this year, where he set out the importance of good behaviour as part of the Government’s continuing drive to raise standards and support young people to recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
“No parent wants to send their child to a school where poor behaviour is rife. Every school should be a safe place that allows young people to thrive and teachers to excel.
“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.”
The call for evidence asks for information about schools’ behaviour strategies and practices, including questions on practices or interventions that have been effective in addressing low level disruptive behaviour.
It will also gather responses from schools about how and when they might decide to transfer a pupil to another school in their best interest, known as managed moves. The survey asks how schools’ behaviour policies and approaches have changed in response to the pandemic and what successful practices they intend to maintain.