Schools have many needs – a mobile phone ban isn’t one of them

Since the first iPhone was launched in 2007, mobile phones have become ubiquitous items and their use amongst our children and young people is widespread.  It was therefore surprising to hear the news that Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is to ‘ban’ them from the classroom.

Schools have the power to restrict the use of mobile phones, and many ban them already.  This is neither something schools want nor need.  They have robust policies in place to manage phone use – and phones can sometimes be a useful learning device!

What Gillian Keegan’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference is about is trying to divert attention away from the critical issues affecting education at the moment, including:

  • the crisis in recruiting and retaining enough teachers;
  • the crumbling buildings;
  • the crippling energy bills; and
  • the chronic underfunding of our education system.

I am sure the speech will go down well with some at the party conference, but it falls miles wide of addressing what schools really need right now.

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