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Banning smartphones helps learning, say educators

Banning smartphones in schools has a positive effect on students' learning and emotional wellbeing, Channel Island educators say as some call for a blanket ban.

Over the last few years the majority of secondary schools in Guernsey and Jersey have adopted policies to prohibit or limit young people using devices during school time.

However, politicians have not issued a legal ban on using smartphones in schools - instead focusing on issuing guidance to limit their use. Jersey's children's commissioner is among those who think the use of smartphones should be monitored but they have their place in schools.

Harmful online content

Last year Unesco, external also called for smartphones to be banned from schools after their use was linked to reduced educational performance.

In February, communications regulator Ofcom found nine in 10 youngsters in the UK own a mobile phone by the time they are 11.

The regulator said more should be done by social media companies and caregivers to protect children from harmful online content. Daniele Harford-Fox, principal of Guernsey's Ladies College, said: "I absolutely think mobile phones, in under 16s particularly, should be banned in schools. "Social media companies are creating algorithms that are keeping us addicted to our phones and we are seeing this dramatic rise in mental health and wellbeing problems in young people. "So for me there is no question that for eight hours of the day at least I can protect children from that exposure and I am going to do it."


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