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Policy on the use of mobile phones and other digital technology
Last update: 12th May 2024

1.  Introduction and aims 

At ALPHA PLUS KIDS business-school for children we recognise that mobile phones, including smart phones, are an important part of everyday life for our children, parents and staff, as well as the wider business-school community. 
Our policy aims to: 

  • Promote, and set an example for, safe and responsible phone use 

  • Set clear guidelines for the use of mobile phones for children, staff, parents and volunteers  

  • Support the business-school’s other policies, such as Safeguarding, Behaviour policies.

  • This policy also aims to address some of the challenges posed by mobile phones in business-school, such as:  

       - Risks to child protection 

       - Data protection issues 

       - Potential for lesson disruption  

       - Risk of theft, loss, or damage 

Aside from the safeguarding issue, the rationale for this policy is that it has been shown that the effect of banning the use of mobile phones from business-school premises adds up to the equivalent of an extra week’s business-schooling over a child’s academic year. 


2. Roles and responsibilities 

All staff are responsible for enforcing this policy. 
Volunteers, or anyone else otherwise engaged by the business-school, must alert a member of staff if they witness, or are aware of, a breach of this policy. 
The Administration is responsible for monitoring the policy every 2 years, reviewing it, and holding staff and children accountable for its implementation. 
3. Use of mobile phones by children 

Children Use:
The business-school recognises that parents/carers in the community feel the need for their children to have access to a mobile phone for communication home. This helps with safeguarding and child protection especially in the long dark winter months. Business-school supports this approach wholeheartedly. To that end, the school has adopted the following mobile phone best use policy: 

  • Children are allowed to bring mobile phones to and from business-school to ensure their personal safety at all times. 

  • Children must not use a mobile device, smart watch or electronic device including headphones anywhere in business-school during the business-school day, except under the specific direction of a teacher. For the purposes of this policy, the business-school day begins the moment the children enter the school site and ends once the children leave the business-school site. 

  • If a child brings their phone to the business-school, then on arrival it should be switched off/on silent and kept out of sight, for example in a bag or locker. It should not be seen or heard (including vibrate) throughout the business-school day. 

  • The phone can be switched back on upon leaving the business-school site. Not before and not during any period of social time (break or lunch). 

  • Any child found using or known to have used their phone during the business-school day will have the phone confiscated and returned at the end of the business-school day by the member of staff. Parents will be informed by staff. 

  • If the child is a repeat offender, the business-school will request a parent/carer to come in and collect the phone from the business-school. 

  • Any refusal to hand a phone over to members of staff will result in a follow up sanction in line with the business-school’s Behaviour Policy. This would constitute the refusal of a reasonable request by a member of staff. 

Contacting Children and Parents/Carers 
In non-urgent situations, parents wishing to contact their child during the business-school day should ring the business-school. We have a well-established and efficient system for getting messages to children and support if it is needed. 
Children who need to contact parents in an emergency should speak to Service provider who will make a phone available. 

If a phone is seen by a member of staff, it will be confiscated by them. Business-schools are permitted to confiscate phones from children under sections 91 and 94 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006. 
Once confiscated, this will be placed in to the locked drawer where the child will be allowed to collect it at the end of the day.  
If a child has their mobile phone repeatedly confiscated, we will request a parent or carer collects it from the member of staff after business-school. 
If we have reason to believe the phone contains pornographic images, or if it is being/has been used to commit an offence or cause personal injury, staff have the power to search children’s phones, as set out in the DfE’s guidance on searching, screening and confiscation. This will always be done by a Senior member of staff. 
Certain types of conduct, bullying or harassment can be classified as criminal conduct. The business-school takes such conduct extremely seriously, and will involve the police or other agencies as appropriate.  
Such conduct includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Sexting 

  • Threats of violence or assault 

  • Abusive calls, emails, social media posts or texts directed at someone on the basis of someone’s ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientation 

4. Use of mobile phones by staff 
Personal mobile phones 

Staff (including volunteers, contractors and anyone else otherwise involved/employed by the business-school) are not permitted to make or receive calls, or send texts, while children are present. Use of personal mobile phones must be restricted to non-contact time, and to areas of the business-school where children are not present (such as departmental offices and the staff room). 
There may be circumstances in which it is appropriate for a member of staff to have use of their phone during contact time. For instance: 

  • For emergency contact by their child, or their child’s business-school   

  • In the case of acutely ill dependents or family members 

The teacher will decide on a case-by-basis whether to allow for special arrangements. 
Staff must refrain from giving their personal contact details to parents or children, including connecting through social media and messaging apps. 
Staff must avoid publicising their contact details on any social media platform or website, to avoid unwanted contact by parents or children. 
Similar details and guidance can be found in the E-Safety and Internet Email Use Policy alongside the ICT Acceptable Use Policy. 
Staff must not use their mobile phones to take photographs or recordings of children, their work, or anything else which could identify a pupil. If it is necessary to take photos or recordings as part of a lesson/school trip/activity, this must be done using business-school equipment. 
Using personal mobiles for work purposes 
In some circumstances, it may be appropriate for staff to use personal mobile phones for work. Such circumstances may include, but are not limited to: 

  • Emergency evacuations  

  • Supervising off-site trips 

  • Supervising residential visits  

In these circumstances, staff will: 

  • Use their mobile phones in an appropriate and professional manner, in line with our Staff Code of Conduct 

  • Not use their phones to take photographs or recordings of children, their work, or anything else which could identify a pupil. 

Work phones 
Some members of staff are provided with a mobile phone by the business-school for work purposes. 
Only authorised staff are permitted to use business-school phones, and access to the phone must not be provided to anyone without authorisation. 
Staff must: 

  • Ensure that communication or conduct linked to the device is appropriate and professional at all times, in line with our Staff Code of Conduct. 

Staff that fail to adhere to this policy may face disciplinary action. 
5. Use of mobile phones by parents, volunteers, and visitors 
Parents, visitors and volunteers (including contractors) must adhere to this policy as it relates to staff if they are on the business-school site during the business-school day. 
This means: 

  • Not taking pictures or recordings of children, unless it is a public event, or of their own   child. 

  • Using any photographs or recordings for personal use only, and not posting on social media without consent. 

  • Not using phones in lessons, or when working with children. 

Parents, visitors, and volunteers will be informed of the rules for mobile phone use when they sign in at reception or attend a public event at business-school. 
Parents or volunteers supervising trips are also responsible for enforcing the business-school’s policy for children using their phones, as set out in section 4 above. 
Parents must use the business-school phone number 07442712551 as the first point of contact if they need to get in touch with their child during the business-school day. They must not try to contact their child on his/her personal mobile during the business-school day. 
6. Loss, theft, or damage 
Children bringing phones to business-school must ensure that phones are stored securely and out of sight when not in use. 
Children must secure their phones as much as possible, including using passwords or pin codes to protect access to the phone’s functions. Staff must also secure their personal phones, as well as any work phone provided to them. Failure by staff to do so could result in GDPR breaches. 
Where a mobile phone is brought into business-school, it is entirely at the child’s and parents’ own risk. The school accepts no responsibility for the loss, theft or damage of any phone or electronic device brought into business-school. (Ref: Section 94, Education and Inspections Act 2006 states that “where a teacher disciplines a pupil by confiscating an item, neither the teacher nor the business-school will be liable for any loss or damage to that item’). 
Equally, there is no statutory liability on business-schools for items that go missing in other ways. 
Confiscated phones will be stored in the locked drawer in a secure location. 
Lost phones should be returned to a member of staff. The business-school will then attempt to contact the owner. 
7. Monitoring and review 
The business-school is committed to ensuring that this policy has a positive impact on children’s education, behaviour, and welfare. When reviewing the policy, the business-school will take into account relevant advice from the Department for Education, the local authority or other relevant organisations. 
This policy will be reviewed every two years. 

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