Mobile Phone Policy

Mobile Phone & Electronic Devices Policy
Scoil Eoin, Baile an Chollaigh
This policy outlines the appropriate use of mobile phones and all electronic devices in our school.
Rationale:
With the now extensive use of mobile phones and electronic devices by children it has become necessary to formulate a policy on their use during the school day.
Our core business of teaching and learning needs to be conducted in an environment free from unnecessary distractions or disruptions. Therefore the school strongly discourages the bringing of mobile phones and electronic devices to school by students.
The school is prepared to allow mobile phones on the premises but only within the parameters of the policy stated below.
Use of mobile phones particularly with the advent of increasingly sophisticated equipment and camera phones presents a number of problems:-
• Mobile phones can be valuable items and might render a pupil vulnerable to theft
• Mobile phones (and their cost and level of sophistication or otherwise) can make pupils objects of envy or disparagement and could have implications with regard to discipline and potential bullying
• Even when apparently silent, the use of mobiles phones for texting purposes could be potentially undermining of classroom discipline
• Use of the newer phones with integrated cameras could lead to child protection and data protection issues with regard to inappropriate capture, use of, use or distribution of images
• Many of the above issues also pertain to I-Pods, Game Boys, PSPs, etc. They can be very intrusive, distracting and antisocial in a school environment. This policy pertains to all electronic devices. Bord Scoil eoin do not permit……

Aims
To inform all members of our school community about the appropriate use of mobile phones at our school. To outline the procedures and processes of this policy.
The school’s Board of Management accepts that it is not realistic to have a policy which prohibits pupils from taking phones to school. Not only would it be impractical to forbid pupils from carrying them, but it is believed that a number of parents would be concerned for health and safety reasons if their child were not allowed to carry a phone at all (and might therefore be unable to contact their parents in respect of any situation that might arise.)
Bord Scoil Eoin discourages (and asks all parents to discourage) pupils from bringing mobile phones and any electrical devices to schools on the grounds that they are valuable and may be lost or stolen. However, it is the Board’s Policy to prohibit the unauthorised use by pupils of mobile phones while on school premises, grounds or off site activities, e.g. school swimming, sports as follows:
Guidelines for Children
• Where a pupil does bring a mobile phone to school;
• The phones must be turned off and handed up to class teacher at the start of the school day. The teacher will keep the phones in a drawer until the end of the school day.
• All phones brought to school must have a label on the back with the child’s name and class.
• The phone must remain switched off during the school day and may not be used, for any purpose, on school premises, ground or during off site school activities such as school swimming or sports activities.
• Parents are reminded that in cases of emergency, the school office remains the first point of contact and can ensure your child is reached quickly, and helped in any appropriate way.
• In case of emergency a child may use his phone with the permission and supervision of a staff member.

Where a parent feels that their child having a phone in school is essential the following will apply:

• Any child found to intentionally have a phone in school without having handed it to teacher in the morning, will have the phone confiscated. The phone will not be returned until a parent collects it. Similarly, the use of electronic games, personal stereos, etc, is not permitted during the school day (including arrival, class time, breaks and dismissal).
• Where a pupil is found by a member of staff to be using a mobile phone or other electronic device, as above, for any purpose, the phone will be confiscated from the pupil for one week and returned only to the parent/ guardian.
• The school will not be liable for the replacement of lost, stolen or damaged devices.
The school incorporates this policy into the Code of Behaviour and will treat breaches as they would treat any other breach of the Code.
• If a pupil is found taking photographs or video footage with a mobile phone of either other pupils or teachers or sharing inappropriate messages via text or Bluetooth, this will be regarded as a very serious offence and disciplinary action will be taken according to the school’s Discipline Policy.
• If images of other pupils or teachers have been taken, the phone will not be returned to the pupil until the images have been removed by the pupil in the presence of a teacher. The phone will be confiscated and the pupil will be prohibited from bringing it to school for a school term.

School Trips and Outings
• Children are not permitted to bring mobile phones with them on day school trips and tours. A contact number will be provided for parents which may be used by them to contact the teacher on the trip. (On overnight trips, there will be an exception, however specific rules will be given at the time.)

Guidelines for Staff
• During the school day, while on playground duty and during meetings, mobile phones will be switched off or put on silent mode.
• Phones will not be used for personal use, except in the case of emergency. Calls for school business e.g. to contact parents, checking a booking for school tour, making arrangements for sporting events etc. should be done on the school phone.
• In exceptional circumstances the teacher may have their phones on for a period. An explanation should be given to the class in this case.
• Teachers are reminded to be careful when using their personal mobile phones for school related purposes.

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This policy was reviewed by the staff on 7/4/2014

It was ratified by Bord Scoil Eoin on 26/5 /2014

Gobnait Uí Nuanáin (Príomh Oide )

Kieran Costello———( Chairperson )