'More than 120 schools today back a pledge to ban ‘corrosive’ mobile phones.
In an open letter, dozens of headteachers say every school should implement a ‘phone-free’ policy to end the ‘disruptive’ influence of the devices.
The letter, organised by the think-tank Onward, has been signed by 30 school executives and heads who run some of the best-performing schools in England – including academies ranked in the country’s top ten.
In a challenge to other schools, the headteachers argue that phones can be ‘corrosive to otherwise calm and structured learning environments’. They say: ‘A firm policy against their use is the best way for schools to maintain order in the face of the disruption that mobile phones can cause.’
The heads propose applying it to all pupils in Year 11 – those aged 15 and 16 – or below.
Pupils would be permitted to bring phones into school provided they are switched off and kept away in bags or lockers.
Any pupil caught using a mobile on site should be ‘sanctioned in line with the school’s disciplinary policy’.
Academic research has already linked banning phones to better GCSE results. The London School of Economics found that in 91 schools which put restrictions on mobile use, test scores improved by more than 6 per cent.
Education Secretary Damian Hinds has backed a ban but stopped short of bringing in nationwide rules, insisting that headteachers must decide their own policies.'
Read more: Mobiles must be banned in all schools, urge top head teachers: Open letter calls for nationwide 'phone-free' policy to end their 'disruptive' influence