Mobile Phone & Devices Policy

Introductory Statement

This policy was drawn up in response to technological advances which have seen a significant increase in hand held electronic ‘gadgets’ available to the school population over recent years and to clarify the rules regarding the children’s use of mobile phones and electronic devices while attending Cosby N.S.

Clearly defined strategies are necessary to prevent the use of unauthorised technology in the school setting.

• Personal mobile phones, tablet devices and gaming devices can be intrusive and distracting in a school environment.
• Mobile phones / devices with internet connectivity could be used to conduct cyber-bullying campaigns
• The school has tablet devices for pupils’ use under supervision and for educational purposes, thereby ensuring that the pupils have equal opportunities to experience using these devices responsibly.
• Personal devices, if brought to school, could contain content/games deemed inappropriate for the school setting and could transmit viruses if connected to school devices.

Relationship to School Ethos

The use of such personal phones and devices contravenes the provision of a safe and secure school environment conducive to learning, a provision which is central to the mission statement and ethos of Cosby N.S.

• to lessen intrusions on, and distractions to, children’s learning during the school day.
• to ensure a safe and secure school environment, with equality of access to learning and recreation for all pupils.

Internal School Procedures

• Pupils are not permitted to bring personal mobile phones or electronic devices to school, to school-related events in school or to offsite school-related activities ( eg. school tours, sports days, field trips etc.). An accompanying member of staff will always have a phone, should the need to contact parents etc. arise.

• A pupil who ignores this policy and brings a mobile phone or an electronic device to school, whether he/she uses it or not, will be required to hand over such a device to a member of staff. Parents will be required to collect the mobile phone or electronic device from the Principal.

• Pupils may occasionally bring mobile phones or devices to school, in exceptional circumstances pre-arranged between the pupil, parent and teacher. ( eg. if needed for personal safety while walking/cycling home alone or, with parental permission, to share photos of a special event / holiday with his/her class and teacher)
• A pupil who is granted permission to bring a mobile phone or an electronic device to school will give the phone/device to his/her teacher at the beginning of the day, and collect it from the teacher at the end of the day.

• Pupils who need to contact home during school hours may do so through the school secretary / teacher, using the school landline phone or school mobile phone.

• Parents who need to relay a message to their child during school hours may do so by calling the school landline 057 8625555 or by texting or calling the school mobile phone 089 2492990

• The school accepts no responsibility for replacing lost, stolen or damaged mobile phones and electronic devices. The safety and security of any personal mobile phone and electronic device brought to school with or without permission is wholly a matter for pupils/parents.

• Use of mobile phones by staff for essential calls should be kept to a minimum and should be taken/ made if possible in an open area where pupils are not present, at break times. Staff, whose phones are on, are advised to keep their phones on silent whilst on the school grounds.

• The school landline phone and mobile phone are available to all staff and pupils for emergency and/or urgent calls.

Roles and Responsibilities

• This policy is linked to the school’s Code of Behaviour. A breach of this policy will be treated in the same way as any breach of the school’s Code of Behaviour.

• Children using mobile phones or electronic devices to bully other children or send offensive messages/calls outside school which impacts a child/children in school will face disciplinary actions as per the school’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy. In some instances, bullying where technology is involved might be deemed to be a Child Protection issue and would be dealt with accordingly via contact with Túsla.

• It should be noted that it is a criminal offence to use mobile phones and electronic devices to menace, harass or offend another person. As such, if action sanctioned by the school in this regard is deemed ineffective, as with all such incidents, the school may consider it appropriate to involve the Gardaí.

• All staff are responsible for the co-ordination and implementation of this policy.

This policy is monitored on an ongoing basis and amendments added as new technology comes on stream.

The policy was ratified by the Board of Management on 20th June 2018 and will be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.

Signed: Thomas Cosby Date: 20th June 2018
Chairperson, BoM