Don’t be afraid to take phones off teens, says Eton head

Schools and parents should not be scared to take smartphones and other electronic devices away from teenagers, the headmaster of Eton has said. The BBC reports. 

Simon Henderson, head of the private school since 2015, says it is sometimes appropriate to take devices away.

Speaking at a Girls’ Day School Trust conference in London, Mr Henderson said Eton now requires its Year 9 boys to hand in their devices at night-time.

Asked how schools could help teenagers navigate social media, Mr Henderson told the conference: “It’s a 24/7 culture, but there’s a place for taking phones and things off them.

“We thought there’d be outrage from the boys, but they actually liked it – they had permission to not have to check this overnight.”

While teachers have the legal right to confiscate items from pupils, there is no government policy about mobile phone use in England and individual schools make their own rules on the issue.

While Mr Henderson’s comments may have many parents thinking “easier said than done”, research from the London School of Economics found banning mobile phones in schools has the effect of giving pupils an extra week’s education over the course of an academic year.

The study looked at schools in four English cities and found test scores increased by more than 6% in those which banned phones.

Read more Don’t be afraid to take phones off teens, says Eton head

How does your school deal with mobile phone use? Should parents take mobiles off their children at night? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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