The UK government may ban phones in schools in an attempt to create a better educational environment.

During the lockdowns caused by COVID-19 technology has been invaluable. Whether it has educated, entertained or connected people, many have appreciated their devices. However, the government believes that phones shouldn’t be in schools.

It has been reported that the UK government has identified twenty-two ‘lead schools’ that will ban the use of phones. If the trial within these schools is successful it may be introduced to more schools across the UK.

The move is part of the government’s £10 million behaviour hub programme, which is intended to improve working environments.

What has been said?

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson explained the importance of the change in an article published in The Telegraph:

“While technology has been invaluable in keeping children learning during lockdowns and we support its use, it’s now time to put the screens away, especially mobile phones.”

Interestingly, the education secretary does not note whether this will impact the usefulness of the Test & Trace application. Although, the software has been met with criticism.

Williamson went on to note:

“Maintaining good discipline is an absolute must in any classroom and is one of our key priorities.”

“Out-of-control behaviour will also destroy the wholesome and happy environment that every school should have, leading to bullying, and turning playgrounds from a place of joy to a jungle.”

“That’s why I am totally behind schools and colleges taking firm action to create a disciplined and calm environment, and putting in place a strong behaviour culture where students are taught how to behave well and are clear about what is expected of them.”

It’s unclear what students will make of this, but the move will undoubtedly evoke reactions.

Will it work?

Other countries have implemented similar policies with some success. In fact, South Africa has taken a similar stance for its primary schools.
Education Minister John Gardner explained the policy to Ladbible:
“We understand families may want their child to have a phone while travelling to and from school so they can contact them outside school hours.

“However, we believe that during school hours it is sensible for primary students to store their personal devices safely (away) so they can focus on learning.”

“At secondary level, we understand there needs to be more flexibility for sites to develop their own policies that reflect the needs of the school community.”

“We note that a rule that is appropriate for a 12-year-old student is not always relevant for an 18-year-old.”

Whether the UK government will also be flexible with different ages remains to be seen. Either way, there will undoubtedly be disappointed kids.

What do you think about phones in schools?

Images via Alamy