22 November 2023
I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing in relation to the use of mobile devices in school which mainly relates to mobile phones and smartwatches.
The college has no plans to change its rules around the use of mobile phones in school, which are outlined in our Mobile Phone Policy, and students will still be permitted to bring them to school. They must be stored securely and switched off in a students’ bag until they have left school at the end of the day.
It has become apparent, however, that an ever increasing number of students also own a smartwatch which is essentially like having their phone on their wrist. The smartwatch enables a student to communicate with others, access the internet and social media and inevitably, staff have noticed that smartwatches are becoming a distraction in lessons.
At this point I am not putting in place a ban on smartwatches but they will be treated by staff in the same way as mobile phones. If students are found to be wearing a smartwatch inappropriately, the watch will be confiscated and the current sanctions which apply to misuse of mobile phones will be put in place. This could mean that a smartwatch is kept in school for up to three days and only returned to the parent.
As we are approaching the season of Christmas, I wanted to make parents aware of the rules around their use prior to one potentially being purchased. We will continue to monitor their use in school and will update parents as and when appropriate.
Thank you for your ongoing support.