Mobile Phone and Camera Policy

Canterbury New Initiative is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.

Mobiles phones have recently become a common possession and are increasingly complex and sophisticated.

Many people view them as an essential of modern life.  There are, however, many issues that relate to mobile phone use, or indeed possession, in school, for example:

  • Disturbance of lessons and loss of concentration in class;
  • Worry at responsibility for an expensive item;
  • Potential for theft;
  • Potential bullying situations;
  • Unwanted and uncontrolled photographs and video footage;
  • Some mobile phones can connect to the internet, with all the hazards involving online issues such as bullying, grooming and personal security;
  • Adults talking on the phone and not giving their full attention to the children in their care;
  • Personal conversations being overheard.

Procedure

  • Phones are to be brought into the Initiative only when absolutely necessary;
  • We don’t currently have older pupils but when we do, Classes V to VIII will hand in any phones to the school office at the beginning of the day.  These will be placed in a lockable box kept in the school office and returned at home time;
  • If parents of children younger than Class V consider that it is necessary for their child to bring a mobile phone into school, they will be asked to write a letter of request to the Class Teacher in advance.  The phone must be clearly labelled with the child’s name. It will then be stored in the office until the end of the day;
  • Any child found to be using his/her phone during time at the Initiative will have the phone confiscated and kept in the office for collection only after a meeting with the parents/carers and the child;
  • If it is absolutely necessary for a staff member to lend a pupil a mobile phone, the staff member should supervise the call and delete any numbers used afterwards.  If being able to contact pupils by their mobile becomes necessary — for example on a school trip — numbers should be deleted following the event.

Emergencies

  • If a pupil needs to contact their parent / carer they will be allowed to use the office phone;
  • Parents should call the office if they need to relay a message to their child.

Responsibility of mobile phones

Canterbury New Initiative accepts no responsibility whatsoever for theft, loss, damage or health effects (potential or actual) relating to mobile phones.  It is the responsibility of parents / carers to ensure mobile phones are properly insured.

Staff

Staff may have mobile phones, but will not use mobile phones in the classroom during lessons.  As adult employees we expect them to behave in a responsible professional manner with regards to the use of mobile phones in the Initiative, including facilitate communication on Initiative business e.g. contacting members of staff who may be in another part of the site, or for communication between staff with a group of children off school premises.  Under no circumstances will staff take photos of the children on their phones.

Cameras and photography in school

  • Photographs taken for the purpose of recording a child or group of children participating in activities are an effective form or recording their progression in the Early Years Foundation Stage.  However, it is essential that photographs are taken and stored appropriately to safeguard the children in our care;
  • Only the designated school cameras are to be used to take any photo within the setting or on outings;
  • Images taken on these cameras must be deemed suitable without putting the child / children in any compromising positions that could cause embarrassment or distress;
  • Images taken and stored on the camera must be downloaded to the designated photos directory on the Initiative’s computer;
  • Under no circumstances must cameras of any kind be taken into the toilets;
  • All cameras must be kept securely and locked away at the end of each day;
  • If a camera goes missing the Risk and Compliance Committee and coordinator must be informed.

This policy should be read in conjunction with the school’s other policies, in particular the Positive Behaviour Policy