Unlike many schools we have never banned the mobile telephone. In reality, few staff could survive without them and when caught in traffic, hands free mobile use ensures that we are able to cover for staff whose arrival may be delayed.
Our liberal approach in this matter is to allow both the student and parent the security of being able to use such telephones in cases of extreme emergency. The price our students are expected to pay is that the telephone must be switched off during lessons and registration periods and not openly visible during lessons and social time i.e. breaks and lunchtime outside designated areas, otherwise they will be confiscated for 48 hours. The designated areas are: The 6th Form Common Room, the Study Suite, Newton Hall, the Cloister, the Field, the Astroturf and the Cloister Quad.
Parents too should be aware, of the effect that telephoning sons and daughters. Parents are managing to interrupt the whole school at assembly time, and during formal lessons, by telephoning and ‘text messaging’ with reminders and interesting family news. So we feel we must draw the line somewhere!
ALL emergency contact Parents need to make during the school day should be via the switchboard of the school in the main office on 0161 748 2875; by doing this we are kept aware of where your children are, and also the common courtesies when taking a child out of school are not overlooked.
Any mobile telephone improperly being used on the corridors or in the classrooms where seen by a member of staff will be confiscated and kept in the school safe for collection after 48 hours or at the latest by 3.25 p.m. Friday.
Mobile telephones with photographic and video facility should not be used for covert purposes in school.
Whilst we embrace their use as a curriculum tool for presentations and for planned use in the classroom, we are concerned about their potential for being used to take covert images in toilets, changing rooms, on the field as well as in lessons. This is what we define as unacceptable use and under recent legislation we do have the power to take further action should this be necessary.
You need to be aware that we will formally exclude any student found taking covert or voyeuristic pictures. We will also consider exclusion as a sanction for any photograph taken without the express approval of the subject. Publishing such material on the Internet via such as Facebook et al is also a wholly unacceptable abuse of our privacy.
We are similarly clear that robust action will be taken when mobile phones are used as a tool to bully, threaten and intimidate fellow students and staff through social networks. This is not about infringement of human rights; it is about mobile phones being used for bullying and causing distress to other pupils. We also appreciate that smartphones may well be used for the storage of indecent images and parents as well as pupils need to know that it is an offence to possess or distribute such images and videos and such behavior will result in police referral and serious disciplinary sanctions.
We all value our personal privacy and our right not to be abused and the use of mobile telephones for such purposes has no place in a school.
Pupils are also reminded that we do not accept a need for personal stereos, ipods, radios, games machines etc. to be brought in to school. We will not be held responsible for losses should students ignore this stance. Similarly we will not be held responsible for lost or stolen phones where they have been left unattended.