Glasgow school bans mobile phones in classrooms so kids can concentrate

A Glasgow high school has introduced a ban on phones during lessons - with classrooms given a special box to hold the devices.

All Saints Secondary headteacher Brian McDermott said the phones were interfering with learning so the school decided to take action.

After a discussion involving pupils, parents and staff, the north east secondary has managed to cut out all phone use in class following a new policy launched in January.

It involves pupils moving their phone to a box if they have to be reminded more than once to stop using it.

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Mr McDermott said: "Pupils are asked to put their phone away and if it appears again they must place it in the box. Pupils decided to call it the 'phone box.' The young people have responded well."

Pointing out how constant Snapchat notifications interrupt lessons and could hinder facts going from short term memory to long term memory, he added: "It is all about learning. Learning is why we are here. "

Previously there were issues with children using their phones under the tables and also going to the toilet during class time and being on social media.

Mr McDermott said: "There had been an informal 'put your phone away' policy with mixed success.

"We felt kids were using their phones under the table. They would walk into class with the phone in their hands - it is part of their life - part of their body almost.

"Telling them to put their phone away was not really working.

"If it is getting in the way of learning we wanted to do something about that.

"Mobile phones have their uses but when you are learning you don't need to be distracted by a mobile phone."

There were concerns some children were going on too many toilet breaks to use social media in a "sort of internal truancy" according to the headteacher.

He said: "Now if kids leave the classroom they must leave the phone."

The children have access to iPads at school so don't rely on their phones to aid school work.

Mr McDermott said engaging with pupils during the process of deciding how to handle phone use was very important.

Pointing out how getting pupil buy-in on the restriction of mobiles was the biggest factor, he said: "We wanted to engage with young people to help them understand how that benefits them. Young people were so honest."

A Scottish schools behaviour study prompted the secondary to look at any issues in its classrooms.

Mr McDermott said it came back following discussions with staff that phones were an "issue."

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