Mobile Phone Policy
Moyne College recognises that mobile phones and digital devices are now an integral part of young peoples’ culture and way of life and can have considerable value, particularly in relation to individual safety.
It is recognised that such technology will play an increasing part in future learning practices, but, like existing ICT use, this should follow agreed rules and guidelines to prevent disruption and instil good learning habits.
The school therefore accepts that pupils are permitted to bring mobile phones and digital devices to school but that their use is subject to the following guidelines.
The school aims to educate pupils in the responsible use of technology.
Note: The term ‘phone’ in this policy denotes mobile phones, iPods, MP3, MP4 players and any similar portable electronic devices.
Mobile phones do present a number of problems:
They are valuable items that can be stolen
Their use can render pupils subject to potential bullying or inappropriate contacts
They can disrupt the learning environment
Camera functions can lead to child protection and data protection issues with regard to inappropriate capture, use or distribution of images
Students are required to use phones and devices responsibly at all times.
1. Students must ensure that files stored on their phones do not contain violent, degrading or offensive images.
The transmission of some images/information can be a criminal offence and will be dealt with as such by the school.
2. Cyber-bullying is completely unacceptable, and will be followed up by the school as serious misbehaviour which the school, in turn, will invoke the necessary sanctions as laid out in the school’s code of conduct.
3. Moyne College aims to provide effective teaching and learning in a safe and caring atmosphere. Phones can disrupt effective teaching and learning, even when in silent mode, and irresponsible use can lead to child protection and data protection being compromised.
Moyne College expects that phones will be switched off and kept in bags during the course of the school day, including break-time and lunchtime, so as to avoid disrupting teaching and learning and a breach of data and child protection.
4. Good habits in digital usage are outlined in the notes of information attached to this policy.
Responsibility for the phone rests with the student and the school accept no financial responsibility for damage, loss or theft.
Students must not use phones at all during the course of the school day.
This means that phones must not be used for:
checking the time,
texting or used as a calculator.
Mobile phones/headphones etc must not be visible at all during the course of the school day. Equipment must be switched off and stored in the students’ bag.
Head phones must not be worn during or between lessons, for reasons of safety and courtesy.
Where appropriate, an individual member of staff may give permission for the use of a device for a specific educational purpose.
Pupils must not use phones or MP3 players to broadcast music, or transfer inappropriate material.
No device should be used in the school to photograph or video students or staff without the authority of the Principal. In the case of a student, a Parent/Guardian must have given permission for such photographs/videos to be taken of their son/daughter.
If there is an emergency which requires communication with home, pupils must speak to a member of staff who will deal with the matter. Parents/Guardians should only phone students at break-time or lunchtime.
In an emergency parents/guardians should phone the school office and a message will be taken immediately to the student. This ensures that a student is given support and privacy in dealing with a potentially difficult situation.
Students who feel unwell must report to their Year Head who will contact home and students are not permitted to use their mobile phones to make such calls. This allows support and supervision and also avoids students leaving the school grounds without a record being made.
Mobile phones cannot, under any circumstances, be taken into examination rooms. Breach of this rule will lead to invalidation of that examination and potentially other examinations.
Pupils need to acknowledge that it is a privilege to be permitted to bring mobile phones to school and
In the event of a student failing to comply with the above school policy the following sanctions will apply;
On the first offence, the phone/audio device will be removed from the student and brought to the main office where it will be stored securely. School authority will hold the phone/audio device until the end of the following school day. A Parent/Guardian must collect the phone/audio device. The offence will be recorded by the reporting teacher and brought to the attention of the appropriate Class Tutor. Parents/Guardians will be notified of the offence by a letter that will be sent home with the student.
Should a student be found to be using a phone/audio device for a second time, the phone/audio device will be removed from the student and brought to the main office where it will be stored securely. On this occasion, the phone/audio device will not be returned for two days after the offence (e.g. If a phone/audio device is confiscated on Tuesday, it cannot be collected until Thursday evening). School authority will hold the phone/audio device. Parents/Guardians are the only persons authorised to collect the phone/audio device. The offence will be recorded by the reporting teacher and brought to the attention of the appropriate Class Tutor. Parents/Guardians will be notified of the offence by a letter that will be sent home with the student.
Third and Subsequent Offences
Should a student be found to be using a phone/audio device on a third or subsequent occasion, the phone/audio device will be removed from the student and brought to the main office where it will be stored securely. On this occasion, the phone/audio device will not be returned for four days after the offence (e.g. If a phone/audio device is confiscated on Monday, it cannot be collected until Friday evening). In addition, the student will be required to pay a fee of €2 for the return of the phone. Parents/Guardians are the only persons authorised to collect the phone/audio device. The offence will be recorded by the reporting teacher and brought to the attention of the appropriate Class Tutor. Parents/Guardians will be notified of the offence by letter which will be sent home with the student.
If a student persists to breach the rules as laid out in this policy, then the parents/guardians and student will be requested to attend a meeting with the Principal to discuss the issue. Furthermore, if no resolution to the breach of policy can be found, the Parent/Guardian may be requested to attend a Board of Management Meeting.
Should a student be found to be using a phone/audio device during the course of the school day and refuses to hand up the phone/audio device, they will be brought immediately to the main office where Parent/Guardian will be contacted and asked to take the student off the school premises for the remainder of the school day.
Students will only be allowed to return to school accompanied by their Parent/Guardian to meet with the Principal to discuss said breach of this policy.
All meetings held between the Parent/Student and School Authority will be recorded and held on file securely within the school.
ADVICE TO PUPILS ON THE SAFE USE OF MOBILES
Using your mobile is convenient and practical but you need to observe some common sense ground rules to protect yourself from potential abuse or danger.
Don’t give out your number or friends’ numbers to people you don’t know, especially in Instant Messenger or Chat rooms.
Keep your security code or PIN number private.
If you get texts, which upset you, don’t reply but keep a record and tell an adult. In serious cases you can report it to the police.
If you receive a rude or embarrassing image or text about someone don’t forward it to others. Distributing sexual images of other young people is harassment and is illegal. If you receive something like this, tell an adult immediately.
Ask permission before taking a picture of your friends and think before sending it on. Once sent you have lost control of it and it could become public before you know it.
Visit the Thinkuknow website at www.thinkuknow.co.uk for more information on staying safe.
Students can use phones in cases of emergency outside school hours.
Students may feel more confident knowing they can make contact with someone if in difficulties.
Some digital technology can be useful for learning and homework.
THE POTENTIAL DISADVANTAGES
Mobile phones are valuable and can be lost or stolen.
Students can be bullied by text messaging or silent phone calls.
Mobile phones can be used to store and communicate inappropriate material.
Unsuitable people are known to use mobile phones and text messages to make inappropriate contact with young people.