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October 29, 2018

School of smartphones: should the UK follow in France’s footsteps and ban phones in school?

With news earlier this year that French schools were banning smartphone use for students under 15, the question of whether or not smartphones should be used in schools has been widely debated.

French students under 15 must now leave their smartphones at home or have them turned off during the school day. French high schools for students 16 and older will be allowed to decide themselves whether they wish to implement the ban in their classrooms.

So, the question is - should British schools follow suit?

 

The British Way

Currently, British schools are free to set their own rules regarding smartphone use, with some choosing to allow use in school and some opting to ban it altogether.

Here at Insurance2go, we asked the opinion of British parents to determine whether smartphones should be banned from the classroom. 

Overwhelmingly, 74% of parents voted in favour of the ban, however 40% of all parents surveyed claimed their child does in fact bring a smartphone into school every day, and a further 27% revealed their child brings their phone into school on certain occasions.

 

Reasons for the ban

If we look at parents’ reasons for why they want smartphones to be banned during school hours, over a third (36%) believed that smartphones were distracting. 25%, meanwhile, thought that there’s no need for children to access their phones whilst at school, and if they need to contact their children they can do so via the school.

8% of parents worried that smartphone use encourages cyberbullying, and a further 5% believed mobiles prevented children from socialising with each other.

 

Pro-smartphone

At the other end of the scale, just over a quarter (26%) of parents felt that there are plenty of benefits to their children using smartphones at school.

13% believed that children should always have their mobile phones to hand so that they are always contactable, 10% claimed their children’s smartphone use has nothing to do with the school as long as they aren’t using them in class, and a further 4% believed that mobile phones aid children in school and can help them learn.

 

From Nursery to Higher Education

Although the majority of parents of all ages are in support of the ban, it is the parents of high school students who are the most likely to support the ban (42%) and believe smartphones are distracting to their children.

In contrast, parents of nursery students are the most likely to disagree with the ban (19%) and believe that phones should be allowed so that they can always get in touch with their children.

 

But what do the experts think?

 

Andy Falconer, Head of St Olave’s School in York explains the rules in place for his students: "Our pupils can bring phones to school but they must be switched off during the school day. Staff can give permission to use them travelling to sports fixtures and on trips but the pupils must not use the camera function.”

 

And Mrs. E Barrow, Head Teacher from St Aidan's Academy in Yorkshire shares her view on the smartphone ban: “My opinion is that children do not need their phones in school during lessons. They may need them for safety and security for travelling to and from school, but I feel I cannot guarantee a phone's safety unless they are put out of reach.”

 

Whatever your view on the smartphone ban, you can help to make sure either your or your child’s smartphone is kept safe with an insurance policy. Take a look at Insurance2go’s amazing deals here.