Mobile phones have never been allowed at Trinity. The Senior Management Team have school mobiles for pupil use in emergencies and there is a payphone for pupils on the Upper School site. The Offices can make a phone available to pupils in exceptional circumstances also.
All year Progress Coordinators have metal detectors which detect hidden mobile phones, (whether or not they are switched on), to police this policy. Where necessary pupils may be asked to show the contents of their bags and balzers too.
All mobile phones detected are confiscated immediately. If it is deemed appropriate they may be examined with the cooperation of the pupil to determine what use they have been put to in school. Any illicit use of these phones is pursued, including Police involvement if any illegality is discovered. Pupils caught with a phone in school will be isolated for a day in the first instance and issued with a Saturday detention with a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
We do not see it as a priority to return confiscated items to disobedient children promptly. Mobile phones are lodged in school safes after confiscation and only returned to parents/carers only at our convenience.
The Police commend and support our policy. The fastest growing problems amongst the 11-16 year olds in Nottingham are mobile phone related, according to the Police. Pupils being physically assaulted and having their phone stolen is a big problem. The Police say that a Trinity uniform is synonymous with ‘not being worth mugging’ as mobiles are not allowed at Trinity. Incidentally a mobile puts a child at risk, it does not keep them safe – a criminal does not allow a child time to dial 999!
We have a duty of care at Trinity (as do all schools) and we take it very seriously. Pupils undress for PE in changing rooms and most mobiles have camera facilities! This is one example of where a potential risk of misuse is overted by not allowing phones in school. There are many such examples. Cameras are also forbidden.
Many mobile phones have internet capability. Photographs and bullying texts can be uploaded to the web and distributed world wide in seconds to the distress of children (and interest of unsavoury people in the criminal fraternity). Naïve parents/carers are often oblivious about easy access to the internet and harmful web sites in the hands of their children – but then want us to solve the inevitable problems when they do arise.
It is a fact that many other schools do allow mobile phones (and suffer from the resulting problems). Parents are quite at liberty to choose those schools for their children but not to try and ‘pick and choose’ which of our rules they will abide by!