A HEADTEACHER who banned mobile phones from his top public school has been hailed by pupils.
Richard Cairns says the results of outlawing of the devices at the £14,000-a-year Brighton College have been “little short of revelatory”.
He says it has seen students, who were previously glued to their screens, turn in their droves to traditional board games like Cluedo and Monopoly.
It has also prompted a surge in the amount of books borrowed from the library and an increased interest from students in sports and drama, he claimed.
He told the Daily Mail: “There is nothing cruel or unjust about such toughness. On the contrary, it is more compassionate because it gives pupils the space to learn and grow.
“Our pupils welcomed the change because it relieved them of the burden of being online the whole time.
“They found they had more freedom, more time for contemplation. ‘We don’t miss our phones at all,’ a group of Year 9 pupils told me.”
The ban sees pupils in years seven, eight and nine, (approximately from ages 11-14) required to hand their phones in to teachers at the start of the day. They are then returned at the end of lessons.
Year 10 pupils are required to have three days a week of ‘detox’ from their handsets while older boys are forced to spend a day a week away from their mobiles.
Mr. Cairns credited the ban with improving the sleep of boarders and says it makes it much easier for teachers to identify possible victims of bullying, which is often hidden from view in cyberspace.
He added that he hopped other school across the country would follow suit.
It comes as Culture Secretary Matt Hancock called for mobile phones to be banned from schools.
The Minister hailed headteachers who do not allow the devices and called for more to “follow their lead”.
He warned that mobiles could have a "real impact" on students' achievements, but insisted the Government would not legislate to outlaw their use.
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He told the Daily Telegraph: "There are a number of schools across the country that simply don't allow them.
"While it is up to individual schools to decide rather than government, I admire head teachers who do not allow mobiles to be used during the school day. I encourage more schools to follow their lead."
It comes as a group of Tory MPs echoed the call for a ban on mobiles during the school day, saying there is evidence it can have "a beneficial effect on pupils' ability to learn".
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