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Worth ahead of the game on phone policy

Tue, Oct 10th, 2023
Worth School

Worth is delighted to be leading the way on the issue of student use of mobile phones during the academic day.

UK education secretary Gillian Keegan has unveiled plans to ban mobile phone use in schools throughout England, aiming to curb disruptive behaviour and cyberbullying while promoting better focus during lessons.

The move will bring England in line with other countries that have already implemented a ban, including France, Italy and Portugal.

However, Worth has been ahead of the game with a no-phone policy in place since 2019, insisting on pupils in Years 9 to 11 locking their phones in Yondr pouches during the school day, while those in Years 7 and 8 hand in their phone to House staff each day.

Deputy Head (Pastoral) Mr Mark Macdonald said: “We have enjoyed the benefits of being a no-phone campus for years; Worth was an early adopter of Yondr pouches which ensures phones can remain with the pupil but locked throughout the school day for Years 9-11. Those in Austin House (Years 7 and 8) hand their phone in to the House team daily while the emphasis for the Sixth Form is on independently motivated behaviour for learning without a preoccupation with mobile devices.

“Not only does this school-wide approach encourage complete focus in lessons and study sessions but even in the lunch break we see our pupils happily and fully integrating with peers without the distraction of screens. Making real-life relationships and being community-minded is a crucial part of our education with heart and soul, and if this positive behaviour is instilled at an early age it is more likely to become a good habit for later in life.”

Students at Worth now see the no-phone policy as a way of life – and some have spoken about unexpected bonuses. One Year 9 pupil said: “I didn’t think I would like a no-phone rule but most of us find it freeing. It would be extremely distracting thinking your phone might beep with a message or someone might suddenly take a photo or video of you. We learn better without phones and we definitely talk and connect to one another more. I would be disappointed if my school relaxed this rule.”

For more on an education at Worth see our academic section.