The “Phone-Free School” Campaign – An Open Letter

(If you are a school leader & wish to add your name to this letter, please get in touch with us.)

“Mobile phones have changed day-to-day life for almost everyone in the country in the past 30 years, and the rise of the smartphone in the latter part of that period has been a major disruptor in society, nowhere more-so than in schools.

We believe that these devices can be corrosive to otherwise calm and structured learning environments, and that a firm policy against their use is the best way for schools to maintain order in the pace of the disruption that mobile phones can cause.

Because of this we pledge to implement, continue, or encourage a policy of ‘phone-free schools’. Specifically, we all agree that for pupils in Year 11 or below mobile phones should not be used, seen or heard at any point, anywhere on the school site. Breaches of this rule, without expressed permission in exceptional circumstances, will be sanctioned in line with the school’s usual disciplinary procedures.

The government is right to not give a firm ruling on this issue; the matter is for headteachers to decide upon. However, we encourage all school leaders to seriously consider the positive impact that following this policy could bring, and the learning that is lost when pupils are distracted by these devices – not to mention the issues caused by social media and other applications.

Mobile phones open up a wondrous sense of opportunity, and they have in many ways made our lives much better. But there is no place for them in schools, and we encourage parents, teachers and school leaders to recognise that fact and act accordingly.”

Lisa Allott Principal Outwood Academy Freeston
Sam Baxter Principal Elstow Primary School
Richard Billings Principal Towers School
Carolyn Blundell Associate Executive Principal Outwood Academy Adwick, Brumby, City, Danum, Foxhills, Newbold, Portland, Valley
Natalie Brookshaw Secondary Principal Dixons Trinity Chapeltown
Helena Brothwell Head Queen Elizabeth’s Academy
Danny Carr Principal Dixons Unity Academy
Dame Rachel de Souza CEO Inspiration Trust
Mike Feely Principal Dixons City Academy
Mark Hassack Executive Principal Outwood Academy Acklam, Bydales, Ormesby and Redcar
Paul Haynes Principal Outwood Academy Carlton
Jonathan Heap Principal Atlantic Academy Portland
Cathie Hewitt Headteacher Angel Oak Academy
Chris Hildrew Headteacher Churchill Academy & Sixth Form
Angela Hull Principal Outwood Academy Brumby
Lynn James Executive Principal Outwood Academy Easingwold, Ripon, Freeston, Hemsworth, City Fields, Shafton, Carlton
Andy Johnson CEO West Norfolk Academy Trust
Brian Kelly Principal Outwood Grange Academy, Wakefield
Michaela Khatib Head Cobham Free School
Sabiha Laher Associate Executive Principal Outwood Academy Carlton, Hemsworth, Shafton
Peter Lee Head of School Q3 Academy Langley
Stuart Lock Executive Principal Bedford Free School
Steve Merifield Principal Outwood Academy Acklam
Neil Miley Principal Dixons Kings Academy
Tim Mills Executive Headteacher STEP Academy Trust
Sir Dan Moynihan CEO Harris Federation
Martyn Oliver CEO Outwood Grange Academt Trust
Steve Roberts Principal Outwood Academy Newbold
Toby Rutter Principal Outwood Academy Hemsworth
Julie Slater Chief Executive Principal, Secondary Outwood Grange Academies Trust
Barry Smith Principal Great Yarmouth Charter Academy
Chris Smith Headteacher Dearham Neatherd High School
Paul Smith CEO Future Academies
Luke Sparkes Executive Principal Dixons Academy Trust
Sam Strickland Principal The Duston School
Gemma Trattles Principal Outwood Academy Ripon
Richard Tutt Principal Magna Academy
Tom Urwin Principal Outwood Academy Ormesby
Clare Wagner Head West London Free School
James Waite CEO Octavia House Schools
Shirley Watson Executive Principal Dixons Academy Trust
Dean Webster Principal Mercia School
Sir Nick Weller CEO Dixons Academy Trust
Clive Wright Head St Martins Catholic Academy
Cassie Young Head Brenzett Primary School