Old school rules | Breakthrough Funding

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Old school rules

Few would argue that modern technology doesn’t have a place in the classroom, but how about in the school bag?

If you left school more than about 15 years ago (no comment from us), mobile phones, tablets and digital music players were probably not a common sight in your playground. However, life for today’s schoolchildren is very different in terms of the technology they encounter on an everyday basis.

As the UK’s young people head back to school this week, the likelihood is that many children will be taking a mobile phone into class with them.

Early this year, a survey revealed that the majority of UK parents felt 11 was the perfect age for children to receive their first mobile phone – although 25% of under-sixes already had a device. So, this trend isn’t going away.

However, some schools are fighting back against the ubiquitous presence of technology. A Kent secondary school prompted controversy this week by declaring itself a ‘mobile-free zone’ and banning students from carrying mobile phones anywhere onsite.

Some parents came out in support of the new policy, while others were outraged by the decree. The main issue for critics of the change was safety, with parents expressing concern that children would be unable to contact anyone if they had trouble travelling to or from school. 

The school’s argument is that the measure will ‘support the well-being, social skills, academic performance and behaviour of our students’ and it is admittedly hard to justify why any child should need access to their own phone while actually at school.

Perhaps technology needs to meet the school and the parents halfway? Should children leave their phones at home, but carry some other communication device during their journey, only to be used for distress calls?

If you’re working on tech to keep children safe without the distractions that a mobile offers, let us know on 0800 772 0800.

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