Senior School Mobile Phone Policy 

Name of Policy

Mobile Phone Policy (Seniors)

Reviewed by

Senior Deputy Head

Date

September 2023

Date of next Review

September 2024

This policy should be read in conjunction with the e-safety policy, Staff ICT Code of Conduct and the anti-bullying policy

Aims

This policy is for the protection and educational welfare of all children in the senior school.

Wimbledon High School remains committed to staff and students embracing the use of technology to support teaching and learning across the school. It is important to ensure that appropriate use supports the core values of the school and does not undermine the importance of developing strong interpersonal communication. These guidelines, along with the Ten Golden Rules, and the GDST Online Safety Policy, aim to promote safe, respectful and responsible use of mobile devices to the benefit of the whole WHS community.

The central aim of the policy is to ensure that, although it is accepted that staff and Sixth Form students can carry a mobile device during the normal school day, their use remains private and not visible. Devices should always be kept on silent or switched off (the exception being those staff on emergency call/duty). 

The following guidelines are to be followed by all members of the School community including staff and students. Staff must lead by example.

Definitions

Devices - Laptops and tablets provided to staff and students for their work and learning, and laptops brought to school under our Bring Your Own Device programme. 

Phones - mobile phones of any kind, but particularly smartphones or tablet devices used for recreation and out of school activities. 

Respectful use

  • Mobile devices must not be used or visible when moving around the school site.
  • Headphones should never be worn when moving around site unless in relation to a neurodivergent student. 
  • Students in the Lower and Middle Schools should have their phones off all day and leave them in their lockers. Lower School students must have placed their phones in their Phone Away Locker by 8.40am. The only exception to this rule is for Year 11 Students. Year 11 Lockers are located in the Year 11 Common Room. To reflect their position in the School Community, and therefore their level of maturity and responsibility, Year 11 Students are allowed to use their phones in their Common Room. This privilege can be removed however if it is abused by a member or members of the year group. 
  • Students in the Sixth Form can have their phones on their person and are allowed to use them within designated Sixth Form spaces (Cafe Sixth, Common & Quiet Rooms). 
  • Mobile phones should not be used within the classroom with Lower and Middle School students. Sixth Formers may use their devices in their lessons but only under explicit instruction, or with the permission of, their teacher. 
  • Sixth Formers may use their mobile phones in their form rooms and classrooms (in between lessons) as an extention of the Sixth Form Centre. Tutors and Sixth Form Teachers should use their professional judgement to ensure Sixth Formers are using their phones in the spirit of being role models for younger students. 
  • Good digital etiquette should be followed at all times, according to the Ten Golden Rules.
  • Misuse of a mobile phone will result in sanctions, from behaviour points and confiscation, to detentions and letters home. Please refer to the Behaviour Policy.

Prohibited phone use across the school site, outside of lesson time, will be met with the following sanctions within a half term period:

  • First offence: Confiscation (put in the Lock Away Box at Senior Reception) plus a behaviour point. Phone collected at the end of the school day.
  • Second offence: Confiscation plus 2 Behaviour Points which automatically triggers a Senior School Detention with parental contact.
  • Third offence: Confiscation plus 1 additional Behaviour Point. Four Behaviour Points automatically trigger an Assistant Head Detention with parental meeting to review the student’s behaviour. 

Process of confiscation & sanction: 

  1. Phone is confiscated by member of staff & name of student is taken.
  2. Member of staff to drop phone at Senior Reception as soon as possible. 
  3. Senior Reception places phone in secure lock box. 
  4. Senior Reception informs PA to Senior Deputy Head of student name and staff member involved. 
  5. PA to Senior Deputy Head records behaviour point on PBS. 

Responsible use

  • All use of mobile phones will take place in accordance with the law and other appropriate school policies, including Anti-Bullying, Behaviour, Safeguarding and Online Safety
  • Mobile phones must be equipped with a security code to prevent unauthorised usage or have a limit to the value or number of calls that can be made.
  • If it is reasonably suspected that inappropriate use of a mobile phone has occurred such as to bully or threaten, a member of staff may ask a pupil to reveal a message or other content. Students found to have been disrespectful or abusive to others using a mobile device will be sanctioned.
  • If a mobile phone is being used inappropriately a member of staff will confiscate it and hand it to the Senior Reception, from whom the student will collect it at the end of the school day. They may also expect to receive a behaviour point. A repeated confiscations in a half term period will result in a Friday detention and communication home. 
  • The School cannot be responsible for insuring the private property of pupils;  insurance must be arranged as part of the parents' domestic insurance.
  • Staff must lead by example and not use their mobile phones to either receive calls or check emails around the school site. There are reasonable exceptions to this within the working of the school for example for safeguarding and or medical emergencies, for staff communicating in locations that lack a phone e.g. examinations or during a fixture at Nursery Road. 
  • Some students may be exempt from using their locker in the Lower School for medical or pastoral reasons. These students will be noted and staff informed. 

Safe use

  • Students and staff are reminded of the illegal nature of sending explicit images of themselves or others and such cases will be dealt with appropriately using child protection and safeguarding procedures, including informing the authorities as necessary.
  • Students and staff must ensure that files stored on their phones do not contain violent, degrading, racist, homophobic, transphobic or pornographic images. The transmission of such images can be a criminal offence.
  • Students are strongly encouraged not to communicate with individuals unless they are known to them.
  • Students and parents are required to abide by legal regulation of social media platforms. Students found using these platforms on school site, contrary to these age restrictions, will receive an at least a Friday detention and communication home. 

Procedures

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, the school always seeks parental consent to take photographs and use DVD to record pupils. These consent forms are stored in the school office. Class teachers are informed at the start of each year and at times when these permissions have been changed, of the children in their care who have limitations on the use of their photograph and this list is available in the staff information section on firefly.

· Photographs taken at school are stored on the school computer system which is password protected individually for each member of staff.

· The school digital camera/s or memory cards do not leave the school. The exception to this is when the children are out of school on a visit.

· Photos are printed in school by staff and images are then removed from the cameras.

· Events such as sports day, Christmas and fundraising events may be recorded by DVD and photographed by staff and parent/carers but always in full view of all attending.

· When children are out on a visit personal mobile phones can be used for emergency contact.

· Staff are permitted to make personal calls during their break times in a location that is not populated by students, and in cases emergency calls can be directed to the Senior School Reception.

· No parent should be permitted to take photos on personal devices nor should take photos of staff without seeking their permission.

For parents

This policy applies to all parents of students in the Senior School

  • There is no requirement or expectation for any student to have a mobile phone in school. 
  • Should your daughter need to contact you during the working day whilst your daughter is in lessons or an activity (and thus unable to use her 'phone), or indeed you her, then it should be done via the school reception.
  • When girls are away on fixtures, staff will be provided with school mobile phones and keep you updated if they are going to be significantly delayed. Staff will give permission to your daughters to make a call to you if they feel it is necessary.
  • We would discourage parents from providing their daughter with a valuable phone as it is unnecessary. Students will be entirely responsible for looking after their phones; lockers are provided for this purpose.
  • Certain school trips, in particular team-building and or activity residentials, will have an automatic phone ban which we would ask parents to respect unless there are extenuating safeguarding circumstances that have been arranged with the Pastoral Leadership Team. 
  • During residential trips we ask parents to not communicate with their daughters via mobile devices. In case of emergency, parents should follow the trip procedures and contact the Trip Leader via Senior Management at school. We ask parents to reinforce to their children to speak to the Trip Leader in the first instance, as they act as in loco parentis, if they have any concerns during the duration of the trip.