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Do phones harm your child’s academic progress?

Created on Tuesday 27th September, 2016.

The last few weeks if not longer has seen a turmoil of hype around the new iPhone 7 and 7 plus with a myriad of new accessories available in the usual tantalising and attractive way. Smart phones are hot topic. A report produced by Ofcom in partnership with the UK Council for Child Internet Safety in 2015, revealed that a staggering 41% of 12-15 year olds in the UK owned a smartphone. I suspect that near 12 months later that this number has significantly increased.

I don't think anyone can argue that the big mobile phone companies have got it off to a fine art when it comes to promoting their new phones and Apple are the masters of this with their recent launch of their new iPhone 7. With nearly or likely over half of their loyal customers being high school age kids it's no surprise that their clever marketing appeals to this age group.

Great that kids have the new smart phone to catch up on social media with friends, browse, shop, listen to music and watch films, but what about the use of phones in high school. Or actually it should say, the allowed use of phones in high school.

As a parent of a teenager I want her to have her phone with her so she can keep in touch with me after school or contact me if there is a problem. I don't even mind the odd text at lunch time. However, alarmingly it is very apparent that kids whilst in schooling time are allowed to use their phones.

How can a teacher if the phone is meant in lesson to be used as learning tool, monitor all their pupils to see what they are looking at or doing on their phone. Does this not also highlight which kids have the latest phone and create peer pressure? Even more of a concern, a report from last year from the London School of Economics claimed that in schools where mobile phones were banned saw test results rise by an average of 6%. Is that not compelling enough without the exposure for peer pressure and bullying for schools to ban the use of phones totally during school hours.