The ‘no-tech’ school where screens are off limits – even at home

The Guardian is reporting on a London school where the pupils are banned from using smartphones and computers, and watching TV, at all times – even during holidays.

At the London Acorn School, which is housed in a picturesque listed building owned by the National Trust and set in beautiful parkland in Morden, there are no smartphones, no iPads, no expensive ICT suites, interactive whiteboards or television screens.

What’s more, parents who enrol their children have to commit to the same strict regime at home, with no television, computers or films, either during term-time or holiday.

The school is appealing to parents concerned about the impact of screens and new technology on their children who are choosing a new brand of “lo-tech/no-tech” education, which bans computers, the internet, TV and films – both in class and at home…

The school opened in 2013. With just 42 pupils up to the age of 14 (they can accommodate 84) and annual fees of up to £11,000, London Acorn is only for the wealthiest. But it is doing its best to capitalise on the recent controversy surrounding the effectiveness of technology in schools and the wider impact on young people…

“We are against all forms of electronics for small children,” the school charter reads, “and only gradual integration towards it in adolescence. That includes the internet. In choosing this school, you have undertaken to support that view, no matter what you may feel personally.”

Many parents are concerned about the amount of time their children spend on screens – particularly at home – but the Acorn regime is not for the faint-hearted.

According to school rules, children are not allowed television at all before the age of 12, after that they are allowed documentaries that have previously vetted by parents. They cannot watch films until they are 14; the internet is banned completely for everyone under 16 – at home and and at school–- and computers are only to be used as part of the school curriculum for over-14s…

More at: The ‘no-tech’ school where screens are off limits – even at home

 

There’s much more in the full article – including feedback from parents and children – and it points out that the school is heavily influenced by the Steiner system.

Isn’t it a bit ironic that some of the wealthiest parents will pay to have their children deprived of all technology at school?

We’ve heard a lot recently about the negative impact of technology and screens – on sleep, stress, performance etc – so what do you think of the approach?

Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Comments

  1. IT and TV are part of life.  It’s true it needs to be used wisely but the no-IT/TV rule actually works against this.  An outright ban doesn’t encourage wise use – it could even give it the status of forbidden fruit.

  2. LondonAcorn

    SchoolsImprove In terms of the ethos parents agree to the “ban” when they sign up. if they don’t agree with ethos they go elsewhere.

  3. LondonAcorn

    SchoolsImprove We are not here to proselytise, unlike some commentators – merely to provide an alternative education for those seeking it

  4. PeoplePensPaper

    LondonAcorn SchoolsImprove Well said. Problem with Twitter and other channels, there are certain status quo clubs. Ed tech is one of them.

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