Schools: Mobile Phones

Department for Education written question – answered at on 28 February 2024.

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Photo of Munira Wilson Munira Wilson Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to her Department's guidance on mobile phones in schools, published on 19 February 2024, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of the guidance on the number of children using mobile phones in school.

Photo of Damian Hinds Damian Hinds Minister of State (Education)

The department assessed the different approaches to managing the use of mobile phones in schools in the ‘School Snapshot Survey: Winter 2019’.

This showed that 48% of secondary schools permitted regulated use of mobile phones at specific points during the school day and that only 16% had outright bans.

In March 2023, 15% of school leaders and 53% of pupils reported that mobile phones were used in lessons when they were not supposed to. Mobile phone use in lessons when not permitted can have an impact on the learning time for all pupils in the class and lead to online bullying, distraction and classroom disruption.

The publication of the ‘Mobile phones in schools’ guidance has the potential to impact pupils using phones in all schools where strict policies have not yet been effectively implemented.

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