School vision – ‘Let Your Light Shine’ Matthew 5:16
This rationale for this policy is underpinned by our school’s Steps to Success:
- Love – I show love to everyone in school (adults and children) through my behaviour and actions.
- Respect – I respect the content of this policy and the need to use my phone in a mature manner.
- Friendship – I show friendship to others through my words and actions.
- Forgiveness – I will forgive others when they have wronged me as part of the restorative process.
- Resilience – when I find things difficult I will seek support and keep going. I will not give up!
1: Introduction and aims
At Gomersal St Mary’s CE Primary we recognise that mobile phones, including smart phones, are an important part of everyday life for our pupils, parents and staff, as well as the wider school community.
Our policy aims to:
- Promote, and set an example for, safe and responsible phone use
- Set clear guidelines for the use of mobile phones for pupils, staff, parents and volunteers
- Support the school’s other policies, especially those related to child protection and behaviour, staff code of conduct, acceptable use policy, data protection
This policy also aims to address some of the challenges posed by mobile phones in school, such as:
- Risks to child protection
- Data protection issues
- Potential for lesson disruption
- Risk of theft, loss, or damage
- Appropriate use of technology in the classroom
2: Roles and responsibilities
All staff (including teachers, support staff, and supply staff) are responsible for enforcing this policy.
Volunteers, or anyone else otherwise engaged by the school, must alert a member of staff if they witness, or are aware of, a breach of this policy.
The SLT is responsible for monitoring the policy every 2 years, reviewing it, and holding staff and pupils accountable for its implementation.
Governors will ratify this policy and review it as required.
3: Use of mobile phones by staff
3.1: Personal mobile phones
Staff (including volunteers, contractors and anyone else otherwise engaged by the school) are not permitted to make or receive calls, or send texts, while children are present/during contact time. Use of personal mobile phones must be restricted to non-contact time, and to areas of the school where pupils are not present (such as the staff room/office area).
There may be circumstances in which it’s appropriate for a member of staff to have use of their phone during contact time. For instance:
- For emergency contact by their child, or their child’s school
- In the case of acutely ill dependents or family members
The headteacher will decide on a case-by-basis whether to allow for special arrangements.
If special arrangements are not deemed necessary, school staff can use the school office number, 01274 874 550 as a point of emergency contact.
3.2: Data protection
Staff must not use their personal mobile phones to process personal data, or any other confidential school information.
Please refer to the Data Protection Policy, the Staff Code of Conduct, the Acceptable Use Policy and Social Media Policy.
Staff must refrain from giving their personal contact details to parents or pupils, including connecting through social media and messaging apps.
Staff must avoid publicising their contact details on any social media platform or website, to avoid unwanted contact by parents or pupils.
Please cross reference to the Staff Code of Conduct, Social Media Policy, Data Protection Policy and the Acceptable Use Policy.
Staff must not use their mobile phones to take photographs or recordings of pupils, their work, or anything else which could identify a pupil. If it’s necessary to take photos or recordings as part of a lesson/school trip/activity, this must be done using school equipment.
3.4: Using personal mobiles for work purposes
In some circumstances, it may be appropriate for staff to use personal mobile phones for work. Such circumstances may include, but aren’t limited to:
- Emergency evacuations
- Supervising off-site trips
- Supervising residential visits
Staff are permitted to use personal mobile phones when supervising residential visits or school trips makes their contact details available to pupils and parents. Parents have a separate school mobile number for contacting tea time club.
In these circumstances, staff will:
- Use their mobile phones in an appropriate and professional manner, in line with our staff code of conduct
- Not use their phones to take photographs or recordings of pupils, their work, or anything else which could identify a pupil
- Refrain from using their phones to contact parents. If necessary, contact must be made via the school office
3.5: Work phones
Some members of staff are provided with a mobile phone by the school for work purposes.
Only authorised staff are permitted to use school phones, and access to the phone must not be provided to anyone without authorisation.
- Only use phone functions for work purposes, including making/receiving calls, sending/receiving emails or other communications, or using the internet
- Ensure that communication or conduct linked to the device is appropriate and professional at all times, in line with our staff code of conduct.
Staff that fail to adhere to this policy may face disciplinary action.
See the school’s staff disciplinary policy for more information.
4: Use of mobile phones by pupils
Pupils bring phones to school at their own risk. They must agree to hand their phones to a member of staff. However, the pupil must agree to hand the phone into an adult during school hours. The school will not accept responsibility for the phone at any point.
Pupils are allowed to bring a mobile to school in certain circumstances. For instance
- Travelling to school by themselves
- Young carers who need to be contactable
If pupils are allowed to bring phones to school they must be handed to the school office on arrival, or to the class teacher.
Pupils are not permitted to access their phones during the day unless there are extenuating circumstances.
If a pupil is in breach of this policy:
- Phones will be confiscated (Schools are permitted to confiscate phones from pupils under sections 91 and 94 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006)
- If they are confiscated a parent/carer will be required to collect the phone from school.
Staff have the power to search pupils’ phones, as set out in the DfE’s guidance on searching, screening and confiscation. The DfE guidance allows you to search a pupil’s phone if you have reason to believe the phone contains pornographic images, or if it is being/has been used to commit an offence or cause personal injury.
Certain types of conduct, bullying or harassment can be classified as criminal conduct. The school takes such conduct extremely seriously, and will involve the police or other agencies as appropriate.
Such conduct includes, but is not limited to:
- Threats of violence or assault
- Abusive calls, emails, social media posts or texts directed at someone on the basis of someone’s ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientation
5: Use of mobile phones by parents, volunteers and visitors
Parents, visitors and volunteers (including governors and contractors) must adhere to this policy as it relates to staff if they are on the school site during the school day.
- Not taking pictures or recordings of pupils, unless it’s a public event (such as a school fair), or of their own child
- Using any photographs or recordings for personal use only, and not posting on social media without consent
- Not using phones in lessons, or when working with pupils
- Only using their phones when in admin areas only
Parents, visitors and volunteers will be informed of the rules for mobile phone use when they sign in at reception or attend a public event at school.
Parents or volunteers supervising school trips or residential visits must not:
- Use their phone to make contact with other parents
- Take photos or recordings of pupils, their work, or anything else which could identify a pupil
Parents or volunteers supervising trips are also responsible for enforcing the school’s policy for pupils using their phones, as set out in section 4 above (Use of mobile phones by pupils).
Parents must use the school office as the first point of contact if they need to get in touch with their child during the school day. They must not try to contact their child on his/her personal mobile during the school day.
6: Loss, theft or damage
Pupils bringing phones to school must ensure that phones are stored securely when not in use.
Pupils must secure their phones as much as possible, including using passwords or pin codes to protect access to the phone’s functions. Staff must also secure their personal phones, as well as any work phone provided to them. Failure by staff to do so could result in data breaches.
The school accepts no responsibility for mobile phones that are lost, damaged or stolen on school premises or transport, during school visits or trips, or while pupils are travelling to and from school.
- Put signs up in the school entryway or office
- Provide a copy of your policy and disclaimer to new pupils and parents
Confiscated phones will be stored in the school office/stock cupboard.
Schools that confiscate phones from pupils become responsible for the phone, and can be held responsible for loss, theft, or damage.
Lost phones should be returned to the school office. The school will then attempt to contact the owner.
7: Monitoring and review
The school is committed to ensuring that this policy has a positive impact of pupils’ education, behaviour and welfare. When reviewing the policy, the school will take into account:
- Feedback from parents and pupils
- Feedback from teachers
- Feedback from Governors
- Records of behaviour and safeguarding incidents
- Relevant advice from the Department for Education, the local authority or other relevant organisations
Appendix 1: Code of conduct/acceptable use agreement for pupils
You must obey the following rules if you bring your mobile phone to school:
- Phones must be handed in to the school office/classroom on arrival at school.
- You may not use your mobile phone during lessons, or at any point during school hours.
- Phones must be switched off (not just put on ‘silent’).
- You cannot take photos or recordings (either video or audio) of school staff or other pupils without their consent.
- Avoid sharing your contact details with people you don’t know, and don’t share other people’s contact details without their consent.
- Don’t share your phone’s passwords or access codes with anyone else.
- Don’t use your mobile phone to bully, intimidate or harass anyone. This includes bullying, harassing or intimidating pupils or staff via:
- Text/messaging app
- Social media
- Don’t use your phone to send or receive anything that may be criminal. For instance, by ‘sexting’.
- Rules on bullying, harassment, and intimidation apply to how you use your mobile phone even when you aren’t in school.
- Don’t use mean, rude or upsetting language while on the phone or when using social media. This language is not permitted under the school’s behaviour policy.
- Don’t use your phone to view or share inappropriate or other harmful content.
- Your parent/carer must give consent you to bring your phone to school.
If these rules are broken, the phone will be confiscated and parents/carers will be notified. You will then be unable to your phone to school for an agreed amount of time.
I give permission for my child to have their phone in school.