We at Denton Community College are aware that for most young people a mobile device forms part of their daily life but we actively discourage all students from bringing mobile devices into College for the following reasons:
- Students with mobile devices are targets for thieves. They are the ‘most wanted’ item for all thieves both inside and outside College and can place young people in vulnerable situations.
- The use of mobile devices in College can be a distraction to learning and teaching. Staff can be distracted from their core purpose of teaching and instead are dealing with issues resulting from the misuse of this technology.
- Denton Community College will not be liable for any loss or damage to mobile devices. We are not insured for students’ property and we will not expect staff to be diverted from their core purpose of teaching and learning in order to chase up claims of theft or vandalism relating to mobile devices.
- Mobile devices are often used in instances of bullying (texting, facebook, and other social networking sites).
- Taking photographs/videos of students and staff without permision and subsequent use of these images that have not been sanctioned by our College could place students and staff in vulnerable situations.
- When students are walking around College and listening to music they are not able to hear instructions and this presents a health and safety risk , not only to themselves but to others.
With the above in mind, we have the following guidelines to ensure that if students choose to bring their devices into College they do so following these rules to avoid confiscation and conflict with staff;
Inappropriate Use of Mobile Devices:
- In all classrooms or learning environments (unless sanctioned by a teacher for educational usage).
- Walking around the buiding to and from learning.
- On school visits/fieldtrips.
Appropriate Use of Mobile Devices
- At break and lunchtime only whilst sat down on the boulevard or in the homebases
- At break and lunchtime only whilst sat down outside in the yard
- At break and lunchtime only whilst sat down outside in the Oasis
- During lesson times and walking around College students must have their device turned off and in their bags where they can not become a distraction.
Procedure if mobile devices are found to be in use inappropriately:
- If a student is found inappropriately using a mobile device, all staff have been advised to confiscate the device immediately and as soon as possible, deliver it to the student’s homebase where admin staff will place the device in an envelope and store it in a safe place. If this is the first offence and the student has behaved appropriately when challenged, the mobile device can be collected at the end of that College day from the student’s homebase.
- If students when asked for their mobile device become defiant and refuse to hand their phone over, this itself is a further breach of our Behaviour Policy. This will have the consequence of their parents/carers having to collect the device. The parents/carers can then speak to the teacher who confiscated the phone and discuss the defiance. If the member of staff is not available, or depending on the severity of the incident, a member of the student’s year team (SSO/SLT) can support.
- If a student has a mobile device confiscated a second time and any subsequent time, the mobile device will again be taken to the student’s homebase and will be returned. However, the admin team will have communicated the repeat offence to the students tutor who will contact home and discuss the issue with parents/carers. If this escalates the tutor will discuss the issue with the approriate Student Support Officer and member of the Senior Leadership Team regarding further consequences and setting up parental contracts agreeing not to bring the mobile device into College.
- If the College feels that the mobile device has information that could affect the safeguarding of any member of College staff or students, the device will be withheld until the Senior Leadership Team and if appropriate, outside agencies including; the Police, Social Services or the local Safeguarding Children’s Board are informed. The mobile device will only be returned if it was felt it would be appropriate to return the device.
- If inappropriate use is found on a school visit or trip, the trip leader will withhold the device until the student returns to College and will then follow the procedures outlined above.
- If a student refuses to hand over his/her mobile device during lessons, staff will seek appropriate support from the Director of Learning or the relevant member of senior staff/ Management By Walk About. The student will be removed from learning and placed in isolation (Time Out) until the device is handed over and/or until parents or carers can be contacted. Similarly, if students refuse to hand over the device whilst around the College, staff will seek support from the Director of Learning or relevant member of senior staff and again the student will be isolated as above.
At Denton Community College we would hope to work in partnership with parents and carers so that hopefully we can avoid the use of these sanctions. The reasons for this policy have been clearly explained to all students in assemblies and reinforced by their form tutor.
We have written to all parents/carers to inform them that the policy is available on the College website.