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Mobile Phone Policy (Staff, Parents and Children)

Aim 

Spring Meadow Primary School and ‘School House’ Nursery is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children.  The welfare and well-being of our pupils is paramount.  The aim of the Mobile Phone Policy is to allow users to benefit from modern communication technologies, whilst promoting safe and appropriate practice through establishing clear and robust acceptable mobile user guidelines.  This is achieved through balancing protection against potential misuse with the recognition that mobile phones are effective communication tools.  It is recognised that it is the enhanced functions of many mobile phones that cause the most concern, offering distractions and disruption to the working day, and which are most susceptible to misuse - including the taking and distribution of indecent images, exploitation and bullying.  However as it is difficult to detect specific usage, this policy refers to ALL mobile communication devices. 

 

Responsibility 

This policy applies to all individuals who have access to personal mobile phones on site. This includes staff, governors, volunteers, committee members, children, young people, parents, carers, visitors and contractors.  This list is not exhaustive. 

 

This policy should also be read in relation to the following documentation: 

Child Protection Policy 

Anti-Bullying Policy

Acceptable use Policy 

EVC policy 

E-safety Policy 

Volunteer Policy 

Whistleblowing Policy 

Staff Code of Conduct 

Induction Policy 

 

Staff Code of Conduct (see separate policy for more detail) 

A code of conduct is promoted with the aim of creating a cooperative workforce, where staff work as a team, have high values and respect each other; thus creating a strong morale and sense of commitment leading to increased productivity. Our aim is therefore that all practitioners: 

  • Have a clear understanding of what constitutes misuse
  • Know how to minimise risk
  • Avoid putting themselves into compromising situations which could be misinterpreted and lead to possible allegations
  • Understand the need for professional boundaries and clear guidance regarding acceptable use
  • Are responsible for self-moderation of their own behaviours
  • Are aware of the importance of reporting concerns promptly 

 

It is fully recognised that imposing rigid regulations on the actions of others can be counterproductive. An agreement of trust is therefore promoted regarding the carrying and use of mobile phones within the setting, which is agreed to by all users. 

 

Personal Mobiles - Staff 

  • Staff are not permitted to make/receive calls/texts during contact time with children
  • Use of personal phones (including receiving/sending texts and emails) should be limited to non-contact time when no children are present e.g. in office areas, staff room, empty classrooms, outside
  • Staff should have their phones on silent or switched off and out of sight (e.g. in the staff room or classroom locker) during class time
  • There may be circumstances in which it’s appropriate for a member of staff to have use of their phone during contact time.  Staff should speak to the Headteacher or Line Manager who will decide on a case-by-basis whether to allow for special arrangements. For instance:
    • For emergency contact by their child, or their child’s school
    • In the case of acutely ill dependents or family members

If special arrangements are not appropriate then emergency contact should be made via the school office

  • It is also advised that staff security protect access to functions of their phone using a secure pin code 
  • Staff are not at any time permitted to use recording equipment on their mobile phones, for example: to take recordings or images of children 
  • Legitimate recordings and photographs should be captured using school equipment such as cameras, I-pads and the school mobile phone
  • Staff should report any usage of mobile devices that causes them concern

 

Personal Mobiles - Pupils 

We also recognise that mobile phones are part of everyday life for many children and that they can play an important role in helping pupils to feel safe and secure. However, we also recognise that they can prove a distraction in school and can provide a means of bullying or intimidating others. 

 

It has therefore been agreed that:

  • Pupils may be given permission to bring mobile phones into school if they are walking to or from school without parents (usually years 5/6 only).  
  • Parents must complete a Pupil Mobile Phone Form to request permission before their child brings a mobile phone to school.
  • The phone must be handed in to the school office on arrival at school and must be switched off 
  • The phone is left at the owner’s own risk and school is not responsible for loss or damage 
  • Phones must not be taken on school trips/visits
  • Children are not permitted to bring in any other communication devices, such as smart watches, that could be used to record sound or images, or send or receive messages.

 

Breaches of the above conditions could lead to the school confiscating the device and withdrawing permission for the child to bring their phone in to school.  If a device is confiscated it will be held in the school office and will need to be collected by a responsible adult.

 

Where mobile phones are used in or out of school to bully or intimidate others, then the Headteacher, Deputy Headteacher or Safeguarding Leader has the power to intervene ‘to such an extent as it is reasonable to regulate the behaviour of pupils when they are off the school site.’ The DfE guidance allows us to search a pupil’s phone if we have reason to believe the phone contains pornographic images, or if it is being/has been used to commit an offence or cause personal injury.

 

Certain types of conduct, bullying or harassment can be classified as criminal conduct. The school takes such conduct extremely seriously, and will involve the police or other agencies as appropriate.

Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Sexting
  • Threats of violence or assault
  • Abusive calls, emails, social media posts or texts directed at someone on the basis of someone’s ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientation

 

Volunteers, Visitors, Governors and Contractors 

All Volunteers, Visitors, Governors and Contractors are expected to follow our mobile phone policy as it relates to staff whilst on the premises. Reminders of school’s expectations of mobile phone use on school site are displayed on mini posters at the signing in desk and around school (they are on outside doors for parents/carers to see) 

 

Parents/carers 

While we would prefer parents not to use their mobile phones while at school, we recognise that this would be impossible to regulate and that many parents see their phones as essential means of communication at all times. We therefore ask that parents/carers usage of mobile phones, whilst on the school site is courteous and appropriate to the school environment.   Please also remember that your child will want to greet you at the end of the day and share their news, so please try to be ‘available’ as they come out of their classroom.

 

Mobile phone use is not permitted when parents or carers are waiting in the school Office as this is a working environment.  Posters are displayed in this area as a reminder. 

 

We appreciate that parents will want to photograph or video school events such as shows or sports day using their mobile phones, but this is in the understanding that parents do not publish images (e.g. on social networking sites) that include any children other than their own.   It is not permissible for parents to take photographs or videos at any other time on school premises.

 

Staff will challenge other members of staff/governors/volunteers/visitors/parents/ contractors who use their mobile phone whilst children are present. This will then be reported to senior staff and dealt with in accordance with the appropriate school policies.

 

 

Pupil Mobile Phone Request Form
 

Please complete this form if you wish your child to bring a Mobile Phone into school.  By signing this form you agree to ensure that your child adheres to our Policy for the use of mobile phones in school and understand the consequences if your child does not follow the expectations laid out.


 

Pupil Name


 

Class


 

Phone make and model



 

Reason

e.g. child walks home unaccompanied 






 

Parent Name


 

Parent Signature


 

Date


 

 

Reviewed: Spring 2020

Next Review: Spring 2023

You can download our Mobile Phone Policy here

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