Should schools ban phones? Readers react to Chailey School policy

Readers are divided on how phones should be used in schools after one of them confiscated devices overnight to tackle misuse.

The Argus reported that Chailey School, in South Chailey near Lewes, had been taking phones for as long as a school term in an attempt to clamp down on the problem.

Now, readers have been giving their views on how phones should be used. While some have been pleased for the ban, others have argued that there are better ways to handle the issue.

On Facebook, Natalia Leszczynska commented: “I am so pleased that Chailey announced a no phone policy this year. So very pleased.

The Argus: Chailey School in South Chailey, near LewesChailey School in South Chailey, near Lewes (Image: NQ Staff)

“I actually feel that my child stands a chance to have a normal school experience, uninterrupted by the overwhelming presence of technology. Their brain does not need a phone and tablet at all.”

In a separate comment, she said: “The school made it clear at the beginning of the term, that if a student is caught checking their phone during school hours, the phone will be confiscated until the end of the day, then the end of the week and then end of the term. It was said there and then.

“If you want to use your phone at home and during the weekend only, then just leave it at home.

“People, are you really not concerned about all those kids spending their youth with their noses in their mobile phones watching stupid c**p for hours on end?

“Thank you Chailey for giving our kids a few years of normal childhood.”

In contrast, Anita Fraser wrote: “I agree with children not having them in school time but they should most definitely be returned to the child at the end of the day.

“I would be very angry if my child couldn’t contact me in case of an emergency on the way home from school, not every child gets a lift home. And is it legal for the school to keep hold of them after school hours? ”

Carl Eamonn Mahon added: “Omg if they didn’t give the phone back id go up there they would soon bottle it and give it back they are not paying the contract.”

As part of the disciplinary policy, any pupil who is seen with “evidence” of a phone or smart watch will have the device confiscated.

In one incident, a pupil who had a phone notification ping in their bag had the phone taken away from them for a week.

Lynn Wiseman commented: “Agree. My kids were at Chailey School for over 8 years. No one had a cell phone. If you need to contact your child, you call the school. Honestly, I know life has changed a lot, but surely kids’ mobiles should be handed in to the school office at 8.45 and retrieved at 3.15.”

Joe Newman added: “The punishment seems a bit harsh, especially if they’re hanging onto confiscated phones over the weekend, but the policy itself shouldn’t be difficult to comply with; just mute your phone and keep it in your school bag.

“I mean, who’s going to be trying to call a teenager during double Maths anyway?”

Other commenters questioned whether or not phones could be used for educational purposes rather than having the devices taken away.

Jacqui Palmer Jenner said: “Well. In secondary school now timetables, homework, maths practice, PE theory practice, history revision etc etc is all on various platforms and Google classrooms, but in the other breath schools are saying you can’t bring a phone to school??!!

“No. There should be clearly defined rules about phone use in school time/ classroom time and the taking of photographs but no I disagree with this.”

A spokeswoman for Chailey School said: “We have a mobile phone policy in place to safeguard our students. We introduced our policy to ensure mobile phones were not used for inappropriate reasons on the school site.

The Argus: Stock photo of children using phonesStock photo of children using phones (Image: Brad Flickinger | WikiCommons)

“Mobile phones can be brought on to the school site if needed for traveling to and from school, but they should not be seen, heard or used. Students are not routinely searched for mobile phones.

“The school’s policy does include the confiscation of mobile phones for a period of time in the event of inappropriate use, and we have basic models of phones we can lend to families for safeguarding purposes.

“Chailey School has an open-door policy and we are always happy to discuss directly any concerns or questions families may have.”

When asked whether it would consider using phones as part of education, the school said it “makes use of online resources to enhance learning through school-owned devices”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *