School mobile phone crackdown announced with strict new plan for England

School mobile phone crackdown announced with strict new plan for England

WATCH: Gillian Keegan sets out phone ban on Breakfast with Eamonn and Isabel

GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 19/02/2024

- 07:29

Updated: 19/02/2024

- 08:32

Ofcom said 97 per cent of children have a mobile phone by the age of 12

Mobile phones are set to be banned in schools in England as new guidance has been released.

A spokesperson from the Department for Education said the move was part of a plan to "minimise disruption and improve behaviour in classrooms".

The plans added that many schools had already banned phones and the change would ensure a consistent approach.

Some may allow phones to be brought onto the premises but not to be used during school hours, including at breaktime.

\u200bGillian Keegan said the guidance was aiming to "help improve behaviour"

Gillian Keegan said the guidance was aiming to "help improve behaviour"


The government said the proposals bring England in line with other countries who have put in place similar rules, including France, Italy and Portugal.

Teaching unions said that guidance includes practices already adopted and most schools already have policies in place

Education secretary Gillian Keegan said: "Schools are places for children to learn and mobile phones are, at a minimum, an unwanted distraction in the classroom.

"We are giving our hard-working teachers the tools to take action to help improve behaviour and to allow them to do what they do best – teach."


\u200bEsther Ghey

Esther Ghey, the mother of murdered teenager Brianna Ghey has called for stricter legislation


Ofcom data says 97 per cent of children have one by the age of 12, which has brought concerns about not just distraction but the potential for bullying or other social pressure.

It comes as Esther Ghey, mother of the murdered teenager Brianna Ghey, has called for tech companies to do more on this, and for under-16s to be stopped from accessing social media.

She has also argued for phone manufacturers to make specific products for under-16s which prevent them from accessing harmful content, after it emerged that the killers of her daughter viewed violent material before the murder.

However, teachers’ unions said that the crackdown was misguided because most schools already imposed a ban.

General secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders Geoff Barton branded the reform a "non-policy for a non-problem" and said ministers should focus on limiting children’s access to social media platforms.

He said: “Compulsive use of these ­devices is not something that is happening in schools, where robust policies are already in place, but while children are out of school.

"Most schools already forbid the use of mobile phones during the school day or allow their use only in limited and stipulated circumstances."

General secretary of the National Education Union Daniel Kebede told The Guardian: "As most schools already have policies in place to deal with the problems of mobile phone use this guidance will make little difference and is a distraction from the many problems facing education."

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