NASUWT comment on proposed mobile phone ban in schools
It is widely reported this morning that the Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, will issue guidance tantamount to a ban on mobile phones in schools as she addresses the Conservative Party Conference today. NASUWT would not support a UK-wide ban on mobile phones in classrooms.
Gillian Keegan was due to speak at the NASUWT Fringe event at the conference on Sunday 1 October but dropped out at the last minute. The event was attended by over 70 delegates and panellists led a discussion around the resources needed to build a world-leading education system.
In September, NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union released the results of our Behaviour in Schools survey, which analysed responses from over 6500 teachers across the UK. The survey showed that teachers’ biggest concerns in the classroom are verbal and physical abuse. 73% of teachers reported that this poor behaviour seemed to be a product of poor social skills following COVID-19 restrictions, and 60% said that use of restorative behaviour programmes was ineffective and contributing further to behavioural problems in pupils. A far smaller number of teachers reported that mobile phones caused behavioural issues in the classroom.
Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary at NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union, said:
“This behaviour crisis has become embedded on this government’s watch. The lack of joined up solutions, multi-agency working and properly resourced behaviour support are just some of the systemic factors making a challenging situation worse.
“Teachers across the country would welcome more support around dealing with the problems caused by social media. But abusive use of mobile phones is not just confined to the classroom and we need to see better support for schools and families when problems arise.
“The Government needs to focus on properly supporting the work of teachers and headteachers rather than announcements designed to detract attention from more than a decade of policy failure.
“If the Government introduces blanket bans that are unenforceable, this will make the behaviour crisis worse, not better.”