Parents fume as high schools new ban on mobile phones causes havoc

Parents have been left fuming after their children’s school announced it would be banning mobile phones.

Grumpy parents of pupils at the Romsey School in Hampshire have been left outraged because they are being forced to collect them. Some of the parents have even said they’ve had to take time off work to get the phones.

New government guidance supports banning phones in schools, and Romsey’s new policy is reported by the Mail to come off the back of that. Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is expected to order a ban on phones during lessons in the hope of making concentrating in class easier for children. One source from the government said new guidance was expected to be issued soon, the outlet reports.

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Romsey’s previous policy was that confiscated phones could be collected by pupils at the end of the day but now the new measures – in line with the government’s stronger stance – means it instead has to be parents who go and collect them.

The school, which has an Ofsted rating of “good” is now understood to be receiving the ire of “a lot of disgruntled parents” with the new policy said to be “causing havoc”.

The school is run by headteacher Annie Eagle and it has now said that the decision to ban the handhelds was based on a priority to look after “pupil’s mental health”. Parents have since spoken to MailOnline to voice their opinions.

One, who remained unnamed, told the outlet: “If it's a Friday the school won't give them back until 3pm Monday. If kids don't hand them in, they are put in exclusion. As students come from all over, they need their phones for apps to use online banking, to pay for public transport or food and to keep safe.

“It is causing havoc with the school. A lot of disgruntled parents have to give up work time to collect them. It's understood phones are a cause of disruption and to take the phone away for the day is understandable as long as the students can collect [them] at the end of school. Why not put all phones in a box at each lesson and collect them at the end? It's unacceptable and unnecessary stress for all involved.”

A statement from The Romsey School said: “The Romsey School has high expectations of our pupils across all aspects of school life and our pupils' mental health is at the heart of everything we do. There is much evidence widely available which highlights that mobile phones can be distracting to learning and can have a very negative impact on pupils' health and well-being.

“It is for this reason we have changed our processes. All parents have regular opportunities for feedback and discussion with staff. They have also received school communications about any changes to these policies or processes and parents will therefore be aware of the recent updates.”

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