James is now in his second year of primary school and he is ver aware of the technology in the world around him. A topic that keeps creeping up is mobile phones. Now both me and his daddy have them and also both sets of his grandparents. Now James keeps saying he wants one because his friends do. I have no idea if or how many of his friends do have them but we don't feel James can have one till he is much older!
Having been in his school on a morning I have seen first hand the older kids from year five and year six who are ten/eleven years old coming to the office and handing over their mobiles to be locked away. This got me thinking about phones in schools, especially primary schools.
As our school does not let kids walk home themselves unless they are year five or six then a phone is a good idea especially in an emergency for example if they are meant to be staying for an after school club and it gets cancelled then the child can ring a parent and tell them they will be home earlier etc.
I asked around to some other parent bloggers to see what they thought and this is what they said:
Helen from https://www.kiddycharts.com says Our school let them have them but not use them in class it’s only for Year 5 and 6 IF they walk to and from school. That’s fine with me - they are there for emergencies or if we need to contact them. Other than that not sure why they’d need them I guess?
Pete from www.householdmoneysaving.com says I think they should be locked away. Kids have no need for them in school, and I think they can only cause a distraction.
Star from Https://autismkidsontour.com says I think in primary school they should be allowed them for getting to or from school but not while they are there. It is a good idea to put them all away somewhere safe like the office, to stop them getting stolen or broken.
Cherry from https://thenewbytribe.com says Former primary head here and we allowed kids in years 5 and 6 who were walking home alone and had permission (written) from parents to have a phone in school. It had to be turned off and handed in at the office every morning and they signed a contract (with parents) to say they wouldn't take photos of others in school and post them on social media (as many of them had social media accounts sadly) - in all honesty we had about 2 children bring phones- most parents made the sensible decision that if they lived close to school it wasn't needed!
Julie from https://ponderingparenthood.com says I'm a primary school teacher - I don't think there's any need for children to have their mobile phone in class. I think it's reasonable for them to bring them to school if they walk home alone but agree that they should be locked away during the day - this helps protect the phone's owner from potential theft and the other children should the owner feel the need to misuse the phone, for example by posting photographs on social media. It also prevents the phones becoming a distraction during lessons.
Adam from http://youvegotallthistocome.wordpress.com says We have a few bring theirs in, but like others, it's a case of locking them in the office all day and then they take them home. They're not bothered, and it's fine.
Emma from Https://bubbablueandme.com says Our school have a no phones on-site applicable to parents and presumably kids as a safeguarding thing in case of photos. (Although doesn't apply at school performances when you can take photos for personal records only). The school is small, the village is small, so even kids who walk alone (very few of any) would make use of one). I think the rule is fine and avoids them getting lost, stolen or putting pressure on the owner.
Carol from https://virtuallyallsorts.com says I see no need for primary school children to have mobiles at school. The only time they'd need them, surely, is if they're older children and they walk to and from school alone.
And our view is: At the moment James is only five and in Year One. As previously mentioned our school does not let kids walk home alone unless they are in Year five or six, James will definitely not be getting his own mobile phone till he is in at least year six. As I will be still going up to the school to collect Freddie, James will probably walk home with us. Once he is in year six, especially towards the end of year six when they do their transition to secondary school we will see about getting him a phone then as the secondary school he will most likely go to finishes before the primary school so he will most likely get home before me and Freddie.