Students at Burnage Media Arts College in Manchester are forbidden from using mobiles anywhere at any time on campus.The ban was brought in after children disrupted lessons by texting and playing games on their phones. There were also concerns that pupils were cyber-bullying one another using texts and Blackberry messaging (BBM). This is from the Telegraph…
Headteacher Ian Fenn introduced a zero-tolerance ban to curb the problem. Any pupil seen using a phone has it confiscated, with their parents having to go into the school in order to get it back.
Staff at the boys-only school, on Burnage Lane, say the difference in behaviour has been ‘dramatic’ since the ban was introduced a year ago. Parents and governors have given their full backing, while education watchdog Ofsted have also praised the move.
Mr Fenn, who has been at the school since 2001, said: “I think mobile phones rather crept up on education – and in our experience it was a nightmare.
“We used to have kids BBM-ing in lessons or sending each other jokes.
“We tried telling pupils they couldn’t use them in lessons but it didn’t work because it was too much of a grey area.
“When we banned them completely from the school grounds, we weren’t sure how it would be received, but the effect has been dramatic.
“I don’t think there’s any other initiative in the last 12 years I’ve seen that has had the same impact. Apart from getting the best teachers we can, I think it’s the most important thing we have done for pupils to improve learning.”
Mr Fenn said not only had behaviour and concentration levels improved, but reports of cyber-bullying had dropped dramatically. The ban has meant many pupils now leave their phones at home, with others only using them outside school gates to contact parents once the day has finished.
An Ofsted report said the ban had ‘contributed to a reduction in opportunities for cyber bullying in and around the college, or disruption in class’.