Student Number: 1409250
Unit Code and title: EDC032-1
The Inclusive Society 2014/15
An Analysis of a school mobile phone policy
This essay discusses a mobile phone policy presented at a poster conference on 15th January 2015. The first part explores the national concern about mobile phones within educational services, both students and staff and draws on research regarding ‘The Byron Report’, the possible risks children face and parental fears due to new technology introducing itself into the world of youth. Next, the essay will discuss in more detail the planned policy including its aims, target group, strategy and implications for practitioners including their training, time and effort while working alongside the school and policy. Thereafter, it will examine sensitivities of cyberbullying within a school environment, different types of cyberbullying, gender and class differences and its overall effect on children and youth presently. Finally, this essay will conclude by discussing the argument against the mobile phone policy; the certainty of those who believe that technology such as mobile phones, can help provide children with a sense of safety, socialisation and involvement.
In 2008, The Government commissioned The Byron Report, a response to growth in new technology which has become increasingly fundamental in the lives of children and young people and presents possible risks which increases parental worries. The report lays down endorsements to grow principles of responsibility for parents and services working with children and young people (Department for Children, School and Families, 2008). Barron (2014), explains that with the help of the media, parents are convinced that buying their child a mobile phone will help prevent dangerous situations, and can relieve the pressure of worry off the responsible adults, due to constant direct communication. On the other hand, Barron (2014), states that parents and teachers may doubt the usefulness of mobile phones as it can lead to children and young people accessing unreliable information, untrustworthy websites and inappropriate pictures, it can also lead to cyberbullying and uncalled for text messages. Moreover, the Department of Education has given guidance for teachers, staff, and governing bodies on ‘Preventing and tackling bullying’, relating to the use of mobile phones in school (The Department for Children, School and Families, 2008). Important legislations include; The Equality Act (2010) which leads responsibilities on schools to eliminate harassment or victimization of students through cyberbullying. The Children Act (1989) explains that bullying incidents due to mobile phones should be addressed as a Child Protection concern. Also, The Education and Inspections Act (2006), in which section 89 states what extents should be taken to make sure that children and young people are behaving properly in school- this prevents bullying within procedures (Department for Education 2014). Following through with these legislations, and understanding the aims and strategies of the mobile phone policy, the government believe they can restore a happy and safe childhood for all.
The Mobile Phone Policies aims are to create an environment free of distractions and disruptions, to permit the use of mobile phones for security and safety only, and for the whole school community, to use mobile technology appropriately. All staff within the school environment must implement and abide by the policy, this includes teachers, teaching assistances, playground staff, kitchen staff, parents, students, and student councils. To do this efficiently and professionally, all staff must be trained on electronic devices and technology, ensuring the training is always up to date. Engaging students in group activities through the national curriculum in ICT classes and presentations about how to be safe on the use of mobile phones and other