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Should mobile phones be confiscated in school?

Should mobile phones be confiscated in school?

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Baby at a computerThere are waves of awful stories in the media about mobile phones in schools.  Tales of cyber-bullying, “sexting” and physical violence being used to steal mobile phones paints a worrying picture of life today for kids in school.

But what about the positive side of pupils using their own technology in schools? The “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) revolution.  Is there a positive side?

On Twitter, #pencilchat causes a flurry of tweets from educators frustrated by technology-phobia in the classroom. (Swap “computer” or “technology” for “pencil” – sample tweet: “I refuse to use pencils in my classroom until manufacturers figure out a way to limit what students can write with them.”)

In England, schools can use this piece of legislation to search for and confiscate items from pupils – if mobile phones are a banned item, they can be confiscated.

Children are using technology in their lives outside of school.  Technology is a fact of life.  It’s not going to go away.  Shouldn’t we be trying – as a society – to a) educate children in the safe use of mobile phones and b) integrate the power of technology into the classroom?

Or is it enough to have an ICT room in a school?


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  • Mike Moseley
    Posted at 13:15h, 11 June Reply

    We nearly all use our mobiles in a responsible (and not so responsible way) in our working lives. We must encourage our pupils to use this technology in a way that enhances their education without disturbing them and others. Plenty of adults could do with the same lesson!

  • Martyn Dews
    Posted at 21:16h, 11 June Reply

    There should be clear rules regarding proper use and guidelines of how to use them properly but they should not be confiscated unless the rules are abused. Students have to be trusted to use them responsibly and benefit from the technology.

  • Graham Dopheide
    Posted at 09:34h, 12 June Reply

    Hmm – lot’s of different possible arguments here….for me the question is not whether the school should be teaching children about the use of new technology but rather whether the ICT department is capable of doing it………in a frightening number of cases the ICT teacher is asking the children to show them how to use the latest app and that isn’t the right thing to do. But advances in technology are moving so quickly, the question is then how does the ICT teacher stay up to speed and I think often they can’t. It is important that our children are kept as safe as is reasonably possible with new technology – in the case of new technology appearing in the classroom, we should be encouraging our children to work with each other to explain it, with the ICT teacher being on hand to explain the background to it.

    Should we confiscate mobiles? Well, given that the country has to legislate against drivers using mobile phones while driving, then clearly some children don’t have access to a responsible role model, so yes I think the school should set appropriate rules and boundaries which make it clear that technology is a tool, not an addiction.

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