We strongly recommend to parents that their children don’t have smartphones:
- Almost every incident of unkindness that we investigate in school is rooted in nastiness on social media outside of school.
- Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp all provide an environment in which children can unknowingly send messages which end up going to hundreds or thousands of people, can be taken out of context and cannot be unsaid once posted.
- Many students say that their smartphones provide them with an unwelcome distraction and get in the way of homework, outdoor activity and face-to-face socialising.
- All platforms have a minimum age of at least 13 (WhatsApp – 16, Snapchat – 13, Facebook – 13).
- Carrying expensive technology can make young people a target for street-crime.
We recommend that, if you do want your child to have a phone, you provide them with a non-smart “brick phone”. These are sold in the school shop for £15. Whatever your choices about your child’s communication device – please ensure that you are aware of how they are using it and ensure that appropriate controls are on their device. For more information visit https://www.internetmatters.org/parental-controls/smartphones-and-other-devices/
If parents wish their child to carry a mobile phone to school, it must be switched off and handed in on arrival.