From September 2016 students in Years 7 – 11 are not permitted to bring mobile phones to school. We are convinced that mobile phones are a distraction and have serious concerns about the impact of their inappropriate use. We do know their use is reducing our students’ ability to connect with one another socially on a day-today basis. We also believe that removing the distraction of mobile phones at school will impact favourably on our students’ approaches to their studies and ultimately outcomes for all. Please do click on and read the articles from the BBC website and The Guardian that support the line we are taking.
The policy is in immediate effect from the start of term in September 2016. Any student in Years 7-11 seen in possession of a phone at school will have the device confiscated. We will also confiscate phones from students when it becomes evident that they have been using them to communicate during the school day. Any phone that is confiscated will be kept in a secure location in either North or South Wing office. Parents will be notified as soon as a phone has been confiscated. They will be invited to collect the phone from the relevant school office after a period of 24 hours has lapsed. We will not return phones directly to students. Please also note that the same rules will apply to tablets that are bought on the premises.
Please also be aware that our staff will rigorously and consistently enforce this policy from the start of term but that we do not intend to carry out routine bag searches on students. We understand that some parents will expect their sons and daughters to have phones accessible to them on their school journey but once the student is on site they will no longer be able to use the phone.
Parents and carers should be reassured that they will still be able to communicate with students during the course of the school day through our established communication pathways. Please contact the school switchboard and a member of our admin team will be able to pass on any urgent messages to students.
Sixth Form students will be permitted to carry phones on site but should keep them away in their bags during lessons.
In order to support this cultural shift at Fortismere we set an early review date for our Mobile Phone Acceptable use Policy. Its first review was in September 2016 and we took feedback again in December 2016. We consulted parents, students and staff in order to develop and refine the policy as appropriate. As a result, some amendments to the Policy were made and the current version can be found here.
Based on our considerable experience of the distraction phones cause and the serious impact of their inappropriate use, we hope that you will see this as an opportunity to support your child in sensible and safe use of technology.