Mobile phones are to be banned in schools as part of Government plans to stamp out poor behaviour.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has launched the push for stricter rules after warning that long periods in lockdown has “inevitably” affected pupils’ discipline.
‘Behaviour hub’ programme
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Mr Williamson said that a year spent in lockdown has impacted on children’s “discipline and order” and now that schools have returned, it is imperative to ensure that “out-of-control behaviour” does not destroy learning environments.
As such, the Department for Education is set to announce details of a £10 million “behaviour hub” programme, which it says will be in operation in time for the summer term.
Mr Williamson has made banning mobile phones in schools a key part of the plans, stating that they not only distract from “exercise and good old-fashioned play”, but also incite cyber bullying and the inappropriate use of social media.
However, the ban will not extend to the controlled use of laptops or tablets during classes.
He said: “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.
“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.”
Schools to advise on discipline
In addition, department officials have also identified 22 “lead schools” with strong reputations for behaviour and discipline to assist and advise other schools which are struggling in that area.
These include Bedford Free School, Ashmole Academy in Barnet and Tor View School in Lancashire, according to the Telegraph.