Mobile Phone Policy
Mobile Phone Policy
Our Mobile Phone Policy will be reviewed at the beginning of the new session 2012-2013.
St Joseph’s College Mobile Phone Policy - Summary
The rapid development of technology has led to a number of concerns regarding the use of mobile phones eg bullying by means of offensive texting, mobile phones being used to take photographic images which can be transmitted to others using the Internet. There is a general acceptance that many parents/carers insist that their children should carry phones for safety reasons. Hence this policy is concerned with how the situation in which many pupils will be carrying phones can be best managed in order to avoid problems.
Responsibilities and Rights
- The school has a responsibility to ensure that pupils and staff can engage in teaching and learning without interruption and concerns being raised by the misuse of mobile phone technology.
- The school cannot accept any responsibility for the loss, theft, damage or health effects (potential or actual) resulting from mobile phone use.
- The role of the parent is critical in terms of offering direction and guidance to their children with regard to responsible and appropriate use of their phones.
- All pupils have a responsibility to use their phone appropriately and a right to be able to participate in learning without disruption being caused by the misuse of mobile phones.
- All parents will be asked to sign an agreement indicating that they accept the policy (and related sanctions) and will take all reasonable steps to ensure that their children comply with the requirements.
- All pupils will also be asked to sign the agreement indicating that they will abide by the policy and that they understand the sanctions for breaching it.
- It is considered that there are three types of issue surrounding the use of mobile phones:
- Problems which could cause nuisance in class and disrupt teaching and learning.
- The type of incident which has potentially criminal implications.
- Incidents with specifically child protection dimensions.
In the case of a child protection incident, normal child protection protocols and procedures will be followed immediately. As is usual in such circumstances, no pupil requests for confidentiality can apply.
In the case of a serious incident with potential criminal aspects the police will be involved.
The nuisance level of incidents causing disruption to teaching and learning will be dealt with via the school’s usual disciplinary procedures.
4. Phones may be confiscated if the use of the phone is deemed to be in breach of the School Mobile Phone Policy. If this is done the phone will be handed in to the School office where the phone will be logged, kept in a secure place, and returned by arrangement at the end of the school day. Should a pupils’ phone be confiscated more than once in a four week period then a Parent will be contacted to collect the phone. The parent will be contacted the same day that the phone was confiscated.
- In certain circumstances (such as the presence on it of indecent images), a phone may be required to be handed to the police. In other cases – as deemed appropriate by school staff – parents may be contacted to collect the phone.
Regulations Regarding Use of Mobile Phones
- While phones are being carried in school they must constantly be switched off unless an emergency call (eg to parents) is required. This can only be done with permission in a place designated by a member of staff. Contact by parents with pupils in case of emergency should be made through the school office.
- Photographic images must not be taken on phones in a school context. The only circumstance in which this rule could be waived is with the express permission of the Headteacher and also all of those who might appear in any image. This is likely only to be in the context of an official school activity, and in very limited circumstances.
- Breach of any of the above regulations could justify confiscation and/or disciplinary sanctions. A particularly serious – or repeated – breach might be judged to justify exclusion from school. Should the Headteacher deem this necessary then this decision will be supported by the Authority.
- In cases in which there are unacceptable images found to be on a phone, but which are not of a nature to carry child protection or criminal implications, then the pupil will be encouraged to voluntarily delete them. Parents will be informed if this has been the case.
- Bullying by texting, the internet, phone calls or video filming is bullying, is serious and will be treated as such by the school.
- Improper use of phones to communicate during any examinations will lead to serious sanctions from the school and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
- In the event of nuisance calls or texts being received by a pupil the school will offer to help pupils and parents by drawing their attention to preventative measures such as the use of ‘blocking’ software or simply changing a number.
Behaviour Outwith School
- This Policy should be adhered to on school trips.
- In connection with mobile phone issues, the normal rules and protocols apply with regard to the right of schools to take action over behaviour which is school-related but which actually occurs outwith school.