Staff Lead: Mr A Joyce Governor Committee: Curriculum & School Improvement Committee (CSI)
This policy should be read in conjunction with the:
Child Protection Policy
Acceptable Use Policies
Safer Networking policy
Anti-bullying Policy and Behaviour Policy
Developments in mobile technology have been rapid in recent years, meaning that mobile phones (and other personal devices) can now do much more than make voice calls. Integrated cameras, video messaging, mobile access to the internet and location-based services are now commonplace, allowing access to a whole array of new content and services.
Children and young people have always been keen to grasp the opportunities offered by new technology and, with increasing rates of ownership at an ever lower age, mobile phones are no exception. However, as with any technology, there are associated risks: children and young people need to understand the issues and develop appropriate strategies and behaviours for keeping themselves safe.
This policy is based on the Be-Smart guidance and relates to personal mobile devices (eg phones, laptops, iPods, Iphones, MP3 players, memory sticks, x box’s DS’s).
There may be times when pupils are photographed as part of normal school activity. Any parent not wishing their child to be included in this should make this known to the school in writing as part of the permission form. This includes photos for our website, newsletter and in the press.
This policy outlines the acceptable use of mobile technology.
Aims of this policy:
- To inform staff, pupils and parents about safe mobile technology use in school.
- To ensure staff, pupils and parents are familiar with the school policy of pupil use of personal mobile technology in school.
- To highlight the child protection issues of using camera and video phone technology in the school. To counter the use of text messaging as a form of bullying.
- To determine exactly when and where mobile phone use is permitted in the school.
- Offer safety guidelines to the pupils/staff on general mobile phone use.
- To outline the consequences of not adhering to the school mobile technology policy.
- To outline who has responsibility in the case of loss, theft or damage of mobile technology.
Staff Use: (this means school staff, volunteers, supply teachers and governors)
The school allows staff to bring in personal mobiles phones and devices for their own use. Staff are advised to use passwords/pin-codes to ensure their device cannot be used by an unauthorised person. There should be no personal use of mobile devices during pupil contact time. In exceptional circumstances, e.g. family emergency, staff should seek permission from SLT to use their personal mobile device when in contact with pupils. Staff should not give their personal mobile phone numbers or personal email addresses to pupils, parents or carers.
Only the mobile devices belonging to school may be used to take appropriate and relevant images of pupils, e.g. for observations, school events. Personal mobile devices should not be used. Staff bringing personal devices into school must ensure there is no inappropriate or illegal content on the device. During off site visits, staff will be provided, where possible, with a school mobile phone and this should be used to contact school or parents should an emergency arise. However, if a school mobile device is not available then staff can use their personal mobile device with authorisation from a member of SLT and in this instance should block their number when calling.
At Sturminster Marshall First School there is no legitimate use for mobile devices on school premises, pupils may not use them for any purpose whilst on the school premises and must hand them in to their class teacher on arrival into school. Pupils who ignore this policy and use a mobile device on school premises will be required to hand over their device to a member of staff. Parents will be contacted to inform them that this has happened and asked to collect the device from the school office. If a member of staff of the school has any suspicion that a mobile device has unsuitable material stored on it, pupils will be required to hand over the device to a member of staff and parents will be asked to collect it from a senior member of staff. In circumstances where there is a suspicion that material on the device may provide evidence relating to a criminal offence, the device will be handed over to the police for further investigation. Parents will need to recover the device from the police in such circumstances. Mobile technology must not be used to share inappropriate or offensive imagery or messages at any time.
If parents need to contact pupils they should contact the school office and a message will be relayed promptly.
Visitors should not use their personal mobile devices in the school building. These should be turned off whilst in school. Parents/carers are permitted to take photos/videos during assemblies or other school performances that involve their own children. They are reminded not to place photographs or videos showing other children on Facebook or other social media platforms. School Photographers will be treated as any other visitor and appropriate levels of supervision will be in place at all times.
If parents who accompany children on a school trip are asked by the teacher to take photos as a record of the educational visit, they will be issued with a school camera. Parents accompanying children on school trips should not use their mobile cameras to take pictures of children.
Responsibility for mobile phones and other mobile devices:
The school accepts no responsibility whatsoever for theft, loss, damage or health effects (potential or actual) relating to mobile technology including any confiscated item. It is the responsibility of staff, parents, pupils and visitors to make sure that mobile technology is properly insured. The school accepts no responsibility for any malfunction of a device due to changes made to the device while on the school network.