30 AUGUST 2012
CELL PHONE POLICY
While the school acknowledges that cell phones have become an important and useful means of communication, it is also aware of the fact that their use and abuse, particularly by children, pose social, ethical and safety consequences.
The school will not allow learners to have cell phones in their possession while they are at school or in school uniform for the following reasons:
- Learners who carry or use cell phones in public particularly when travelling to and from school, have become the targets of criminals who accost them and rob them of their cell phones and other possessions. These attacks occur most frequently when learners are seen using their cell phones, particularly if they are expensive and/or "latest models" of sought-after brands.
- Theft of cell phones at school from bags and blazers is a persistent problem. Too much of time is taken by management personnel investigating the loss/theft when the time could be used more profitably teaching.
- Learners are careless with their cell phones and leave them lying around or in blazers and bags which are left unattended. Lost and mislaid cell phones are frequently claimed to be stolen when this is not the case.
- Cell phones can be used to cheat in examinations and tests. For this reason, no cell phones are permitted in examination venues or in teaching venues when tests and examinations are written. This same policy applies to the externally set national examinations.
- Cell phones are increasingly multi-functional, offering an array of features which are designed to attract and entertain users. The ready availability of these features means that learners with cell phones tend to access and use these features in the classroom, becoming distracted from their work. Learners with low levels of self-discipline, poor concentration and/ or a poor work ethic are more likely to become distracted by these features.
- Cell phones allow learners unlimited access to salacious and age-inappropriate material.
- Cell phones make learners vulnerable to approaches by undesirable individuals or groups including criminals and paedophiles.
- Cell phones may carry private and personal material, including photographs, video clips, voice messages and personal details which may become accessible by undesirable individuals and groups when cell phones are lost, borrowed or stolen.
In view of the above and after lengthy discussion with the relevant stake-holders viz. the Governing Body, Staff and RCL it has been decided that:
- Cell phones will not be allowed in school.
- If an emergency arises during the course of the school day, the office telephone will be used to attend to the issue.
- If a learner has an absolute urgent need to have a cell phone for use after school, the parent must send a letter to school advising us of the reason why the learner needs to have the cell phone in school. The cell phone must then be lodged in the secretary’s office in the morning and collected in the afternoon. When a cell phone is being lodged with the secretary the learner’s student card must be produced. The phone will only be released upon presentation of the student card (security measure).
- If any cell phone is found on a learner’s person or in his/her belongings (whether it belongs to him/her or not), it will be confiscated. The sim card will be removed and handed to the learner. The parent will be called and informed that the cell phone has been confiscated.