The chief inspector of Ofcom has spoken out about a potential phone ban in schools. Sir Michael Wilshaw hopes this drastic move could curb rising discipline issues in classrooms.
In an interview yesterday, the inspector spoke of introducing a series of new inspections next term. The new guidelines would let schools be marked down for failing to deal with mobile phone-related interruptions during class.
Sir Wilshaw also fears phones can be used for cyber-bullying and accessing inappropriate online content, such as pornography at school. New rules could allow staff to search students' handsets if there is concern they are being used to view such content.
Currently, only very few schools have banned mobile phones. Most let students keep phones in their lockers, or even in their bags provided they are switched off.
Pupils have been invited to have their say in the debate. Many believe banning phones completely is a step too far, stating they should be able to use their phones during breaks. It is a means of getting in touch with family and friends, and can be used as a personal safety device on the way to school or back home.