Thank you for taking the time to read this!
The use of mobile phones in schools is always a difficult issue. Here at Ermine Primary, we understand that there may be some circumstances when a child needs to bring a mobile into school with them; our policy states that this is fine as long as the phone is kept in the main office until the end of the day. Please remind your children to hand the phone in when they arrive! The children have no need for these devices at any time during the school day.
There is plenty of research out there that states the use of mobile phones in schools actually reduces academic performance. There was an article in the Guardian newspaper recently that echoed this as well. Lincoln Castle Academy have written to their parents about their stance on mobile phones. As we are part of the same multi-academy trust, Ermine Primary Academy backs this decision fully. The use, and access, to mobiles during those hours when all children need to be concentrating on the content of the lessons is very distracting and something we all find difficult to ignore! Please read the following letter that Mrs Laming wrote to all parents and carers of students at LCA:
‘This change to the school policy has been carefully considered and is designed to ensure students get the very best educational experience. Whilst at school, we believe your child needs to focus on learning, interacting and communicating with others leaving plenty of time in the evenings and weekends for online activity. Should students require the internet for educational purposes, they will be able to access it through our academy computers, laptops or tablets under the supervision of a teacher.
The ban extends to all parts of the school day, meaning mobile phones will not be in use at break or lunchtime and in line with school policy, will be confiscated and only released to a parent/guardian signatory. If students choose to carry a mobile phone in their bags, they must be switched off, out of sight and not in use throughout the school day; if seen they will be confiscated without exception. Clearly the rules are different for post-16 students who are permitted to carry mobile devices but are asked to uphold the school’s policy by restricting usage to designated post-16 spaces.
This change coincides with the departure of our Year 11 students and supports our continued determination to get the very best from our students. As with parenting, headship is not a popularity contest, it is about making decisions that are in the best interests of the child. I therefore ask for your support in implementing this change which has not been taken lightly. We have sought student and staff voice and carefully considered the research around adolescent mental health issues and social media dependence. Whilst we anticipate some initial withdrawal symptoms, we anticipate students will soon adapt to this change and feel the benefits. Parents who are concerned that they will not be able to communicate with their child should use the system of telephoning the school reception, a method that has worked successfully for over 40 years!
Once again, the academy is over-subscribed for September as more parents recognise the safe, supportive and ambitious ethos of the academy as the right place for their child. We depend upon the support of our community of parents, family members, friends and residents and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you. We appreciate your contribution to Lincoln Castle Academy’s success in upholding our values, supporting our standards and, above all, championing our wonderful young people’.
As stated earlier, this is an issue many people and children feel strongly about but I hope you can understand and see the point of view our two schools are using to shape policies.
Thank you for your time and support.