Acceptable Use of Mobile Phone and Devices by Students Policy

 

 

Acceptable Use of Mobile Phone and Devices by Students Policy 

 

Reviewed: November 2015

 

 

 

1. Purpose

1.1. The widespread ownership of mobile phones and devices among young people requires that school administrators, teachers, students, parents and carers take steps to ensure that mobile phones and devices are used responsibly at school. This Acceptable Use Policy is designed to ensure that potential issues involving mobile phones and devices can be clearly identified and addressed, ensuring the benefits that mobile phones and devices provide (such as increased safety) can continue to be enjoyed.

1.2. Bettws Lifehouse has established the following Acceptable Use Policy provides teachers, students, parents and carers guidelines and instructions for the appropriate use of mobile phones and devices during school hours.

1.3. Students, their parents or carers must read and understand the Acceptable Use Policy as a condition upon which permission is given to bring mobile phones and devices to school.

1.4. The Acceptable Use Policy for Mobile phones and devices also applies to students during school excursions, camps and extra-curricular activities both on the school campus and off-site.

 

2. Rationale

2.1. Bettws Lifehouse recognises that personal communication through mobile technologies is an accepted part of everyday life but that such technologies need to be used well.

2.2. Personal safety and security

Our School accepts that parents/carers give their children mobile phones and devices to protect them from everyday risks involving personal security and safety. It is acknowledged that providing a child with a mobile phone gives parents reassurance that they can contact their child if they need to speak to them urgently.

 

3. Responsibility

3.1. It is the responsibility of students who bring Mobile phones and devices to school to abide by the guidelines outlined in this document.

3.2. The decision to provide a mobile phone to their children should be made by parents or carers. It is the responsibility of parents/carers to understand the capabilities of the phone and the potential use/mis-use of those capabilities.

3.3. Parents/carers should be aware if their child takes a mobile phone to school, it is assumed household insurance will provide the required cover in the event of loss or damage. The school cannot accept responsibility for any loss, damage or costs incurred due to its use. 

3.4. Parents/carers are reminded that in cases of emergency, the school remains a vital and appropriate point of first contact and can ensure your child is reached quickly and assisted in any relevant way.

 

 

4. Acceptable Uses

4.1. Mobile phones and devices should be switched off and kept out of sight during classroom lessons..

Parents/carers are requested that in cases of emergency they contact the school first so we are aware of any potential issue and may make the necessary arrangements.

4.2. Mobile phones and devices should not be used in any manner or place that is disruptive to the normal routine of the school.

4.3. Students should protect their phone numbers by only giving them to close friends and keeping a note of who they have given them to. This can help protect the student’s number from falling into the wrong hands and guard against the receipt of insulting, threatening or unpleasant voice, text and picture messages.

4.4. The school recognises the importance of emerging technologies present in modern Mobile phones and devices e.g. camera and video recording, internet access, MP3 and MP4 playback, blogging etc. Teachers may wish to utilise these functions to aid teaching and learning and students may have the opportunity to use their Mobile phones and devices in the classroom. On these occasions students may use their mobile phones and devices in the classroom when express permission has been given by the teacher. The use of personal mobile phones and devices in one lesson for a specific purpose does not mean blanket usage is then acceptable.

 

5. Unacceptable Uses

 

5.1. Unless express permission is granted, mobile phones and devices should not be used to make calls, send SMS messages, surf the internet, take photos, record visual or audio, or use any other application during school lessons and other educational activities, such as assemblies.

5.2. The Bluetooth function of a mobile phone must be switched off at all times and not be used to send images or files to other mobile phones.

5.3. Mobile phones and devices must not disrupt classroom lessons with ring tones, music or beeping. They should be turned off during lesson times.

5.4. Using Mobile phones and devices to bully and threaten other students is unacceptable. Cyber bullying will not be tolerated. In some cases it can constitute criminal behaviour. If the use of technology humiliates, embarrasses or causes offence it is unacceptable regardless of whether ‘consent’ was given.

5.5. It is forbidden for students to “gang up” on another student and use their Mobile phones and devices to take videos and pictures of acts to denigrate and humiliate that student and then send the pictures to other students or upload it to a website for public viewing. This also includes using mobile phones and devices to photograph or film any student or member of staff without their consent. It is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone to menace, harass or offend another person and almost all calls, text messages and emails can be traced. This would be deemed as bullying and taken seriously by staff and disciplined accordingly.

5.6 Publication of any photographs taken in school must NOT be published on the internet.

5.7. Should there be more than one disruption to lessons caused by a mobile phone or device, the responsible student may face disciplinary actions as sanctioned by the member of staff or Headteacher. This may include a mobile phone/device ban in school or confiscation where the device will only be returned to the parent when personally collected.

5.8. .It is unacceptable to take a picture or record in any way a member of staff without their permission. In the event that this happens the student will be asked and expected to immediately delete that digital content.  This may also be sanctioned within school or by external authorities if deemed appropriate.

 

 

6   Theft or Damage

6.1. Students who bring a mobile phone or device to school should leave it in the office for safe keeping until home time.

6.2. Mobile phones and devices that are found in the school and whose owner cannot be located will be taken to the office.

6.3. The school accepts no responsibility for replacing lost, stolen or damaged mobile phones or devices.

6.4. The school accepts no responsibility for students who lose or have their mobile phones or devices stolen while travelling to and from school.

 

 

7. Inappropriate conduct

7.1. Mobile phones and devices are banned from all examinations. Students are expected to leave their mobile phones, switched off, in the office, before entering the exam. Any student found in possession of a mobile phone during an examination will have that paper disqualified. Such an incident may result in all exams being disqualified.

7.2. Any student who uses vulgar, derogatory, or obscene language while using a mobile phone will face disciplinary action.

7.3. Students with Mobile phones and devices may not engage in personal attacks, harass another person, or post private information about another person using SMS messages, taking/sending photos or objectionable images, and phone calls. Students using Mobile phones and devices to bully other students will face disciplinary action. It is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone to menace, harass or offend another person. As such, the school may consider it appropriate to involve the police.

7.4. Students must ensure that files stored on their phones do not contain violent, degrading, racist or pornographic images. The transmission of such an image is a criminal offence. Similarly, ‘sexting’ – which is the sending of personal sexual imagery and sexual language – is also a criminal offence. As such, the school may consider it appropriate to involve the police.

7.5  Students, parents and carers should be aware that their devices may store information and messages exchanged via internet sites such as ‘Facebook’ and ‘Whats App’ and that inappropriate use of these applications reported to school will be acted upon by reporting to the appropriate authorities.

 

8. Sanctions

8.1. Students who infringe the rules set out in this document could face having their phones and devices confiscated by teachers. If the phone or device is being used inappropriately the student must give it to a teacher if requested and that item will then remain in the school office until collected by a parent or carer.

8.2. The incident will be recorded.

8.4. Any further infringements of the mobile phone code of conduct may result in a ban on bringing a mobile phone to school, and which will be the parent/carers responsibility to ensure

8.5. As set out in the previous section, failure to heed the rules set out in this document may result in an alleged incident – of a serious nature – being referred to the police for investigation. In such cases, the parent or carer would be notified immediately.