Policy on Mobile Phone Use
|1. Purpose1.1. The widespread ownership of mobile phones among young people requires that BCW Training staff take steps to ensure that mobile phones are used responsibly. This Acceptable Use Policy is designed to ensure that potential issues involving mobile phones can be clearly identified and addressed, ensuring the benefits that mobile phones provide (such as increased safety) can continue to be enjoyed by our learners.
1.2. BCW Training has established the following Acceptable Use Policy for mobile phones that provides staff guidelines and instructions for the appropriate use of mobile phones whilst learners are on the premises of BCW Training.
1.3. Learners, their parents/guardians must read and understand the Acceptable Use Policy before learners are given permission to bring mobile phones to BCW Training.
1.4. The Acceptable Use Policy for mobile phones also applies to learners during any extra-curricular activities.
|2. Rationale2.1. Personal safety and security: BCW Training accepts that parents/guardians give their children mobile phones to protect them from everyday risks involving personal security and safety. There is also increasing concern about young people travelling alone on public transport or commuting long distances to their training and education. It is acknowledged that providing a young person with a mobile phone gives parents/guardians reassurance that they can contact their son/daughter if they need to speak to them urgently.|
|3. Responsibility3.1. It is the responsibility of learners who bring mobile phones to BCW Training to abide by the guidelines outlined in this document.
3.2. Learners are responsible for keeping BCW Training informed of their current mobile phone number.
|4. Acceptable Uses4.1. Mobile phones should be switched off and kept out of sight during classroom lessons. Exceptions may be permitted only in exceptional circumstances if the parent/guardian specifically requests it. Such requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis and should be directed to Mrs Jacinta Hill. Parents/guardians are reminded that in cases of emergency, the administration office remains a vital and appropriate point of contact and can ensure your child is reached quickly and assisted in any appropriate way.
4.2. Mobile phones should not be used in any manner or place that is disruptive to the normal routine of BCW Training.
4.3. Learners should protect their phone numbers by only giving them to friends and keeping a note of who they have given them to. This can help protect the learner’s number from falling into the wrong hands and guard against the receipt of insulting, threatening or unpleasant voice, text and picture messages.
4.4. BCW Training recognises the importance of emerging technologies present in modern mobile phones e.g. camera and video recording, internet access, MP3 and MP4 playback, blogging etc. Tutors may wish to utilise these functions to aid teaching and learning and learners may have the opportunity to use their mobile phones in the classroom. On these occasions learners may use their mobile phones in the classroom when express permission has been given by the tutor.
|5. Unacceptable Uses5.1. Unless express permission is granted, mobile phones should not be used to make calls, send SMS messages, surf the internet, take photos or use any other application. Mobile phones are only to be used in the event of an emergency and with permission from a member of staff.
5.2. The Bluetooth function of a mobile phone must be switched off at all times and not be used to send images or files to other mobile phones.
5.3. Mobile phones must not disrupt classroom lessons with ringtones, music or beeping.
5.4. Using mobile phones to bully and threaten other learners is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. In some cases it can constitute criminal behaviour.
5.5. It is forbidden for learners to “gang up” on another learner and use their mobile phones to take videos and pictures of acts to denigrate and humiliate that learner and then send the pictures to other learners or upload it to a website for public viewing. This also includes using mobile phones to photograph or film any learner without their consent. It is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone to menace, harass or offend another person and almost all calls, text messages and emails can be traced.
5.6. Mobile phones are not to be used or taken into, for example, toilets or used in any situation that may cause embarrassment or discomfort to their fellow learners, staff or visitors to BCW Training.
5.7. Should there be repeated disruptions to lessons caused by a mobile phone, the learner responsible may face disciplinary actions as sanctioned by the staff of BCW Training.
|6. Theft or damage6.1. Learners should mark their mobile phone clearly with their names.
6.2. Learners who bring a mobile phone to BCW Training are responsible for the safety of that phone. To reduce the risk of theft during training hours, learners who carry mobile phones are advised to keep them well concealed and not ‘advertise’ they have them.
6.3. Mobile phones that are found on our premises and whose owner cannot be located should be handed to a member of the administration staff or any other member of staff.
6.4. BCW Training accepts no responsibility for replacing lost, stolen or damaged mobile phones.
6.5. BCW Training accepts no responsibility for learners who lose or have their mobile phones stolen while travelling to and/or from our premises.
6.6. It is strongly advised that learners use passwords/pin numbers to ensure that unauthorised phone calls cannot be made on their phones (e.g. by other learners, or if stolen). Learners must keep their password/pin numbers confidential. Mobile phones and/or passwords may not be shared.
6.7. Lost and stolen mobile phones in the U.K. can be blocked across all networks making them virtually worthless because they cannot be used.
|7. Inappropriate conduct7.1. Any learner/s caught using a mobile phone to cheat in exams, tests or assessments will face disciplinary action as sanctioned by the Manager.
7.2. Any learner who uses vulgar, derogatory, or obscene language while using a mobile phone will face disciplinary action as sanctioned by the Manager.
7.3. Learners with mobile phones may not engage in personal attacks, harass another person, or post private information about another person using SMS messages, taking/sending photos or objectionable images, and phone calls. Learners using mobile phones to bully other learners will face disciplinary action as sanctioned by the Manager.
[It should be noted that it is a criminal offence to use a mobile phone to menace, harass or offend another person. As such, if action as sanctioned by the Manager is deemed ineffective, as with all such incidents, BCW Training may consider it appropriate to involve the police.]
|8. Sanctions8.1. Learners who infringe the rules set out in this document could face having their phones confiscated by BCW Training staff.
8.2. On the first infringement of this policy the mobile phone would be confiscated by the member of staff and taken to a secure place e.g. the administration office. The learner will be able to collect the mobile phone at the end of the day and a record will be made of the incident. A letter will also be sent to the parent/guardian to inform them of the incident. The location and form of the secure place will be one deemed appropriate by the management team.
8.3. On the second infringement the mobile phone would be confiscated by the member of staff and taken to a secure place e.g. the administration office. Parents/guardians will be notified and the learner will not be permitted to collect the phone without a parent/guardian’s consent. If a parent/guardian is unable to attend BCW Training they are permitted to phone and give verbal consent for their child to collect the phone and must speak to a member of the management team. The incident will be recorded.
8.4. On the third infringement the mobile phone would be confiscated by a member of staff and taken to a secure place e.g. the administration office. Parents will be notified and the learner will not be permitted to collect the phone without a parent/guardian present. After the third infringement BCW Training will withdraw the permission to allow the learner to bring the mobile telephone to our premises.
8.5. As set out in the previous section, failure to heed the rules set out in this document may result in an alleged incident being referred to the police for investigation. In such cases, the parent/guardian would be notified immediately.
Reasons for learners not having access to mobiles phone during class
The company’s mobile phone policy is based on four principles:
- All learners have the right to be taught in a safe, purposeful learning environment
and lessons should not be disrupted by texts or calls made on mobile phones.
- All learners should be protected, as far as is possible, from inappropriate internet
content and cyber-bullying.
- All learners have a right to privacy and should not be photographed or recorded by
- Staff should not be placed in a position where their actions could be photographed or recorded without permission.
Given the purpose of this organisation is to educate/train; anything that disrupts learning is counterproductive to this process. When the learners bring their phones into class the potential for abuse arises.
Most mobile phones are capable of sending and receiving text messages and most phones have games on them. Smartphones are mini gaming consoles, with thousands of games available to download. Most mobile phones now double as mp3 players, allowing learners to take their music into class with them and listen through headphones. By engaging in these activities the learners are missing out on the opportunity to engage with their learning and benefit from their education/training.
Mobile phones with cameras and/or internet connection can be used to cheat in tests or quizzes and give the cheater an easy and discreet way of photographing tests so that other learners can copy answers. Given the purpose of testing is to prove the learners grasp of the subject, these shortcuts are destructive and counterproductive.
Mobile phones with video recorders can be used as a tool to bully or harass other learners and staff – images can be videoed or sound recorded without permission and uploaded to social networking sites.
In summary, mobile phones in class:
- are distracting/disruptive to the learner, other learners and the teacher – makes focusing/concentrating difficult
- waste lesson time
- are open to abuse – learners can take pictures of/record the teacher and then post them on Facebook
- can use used as a means of bullying/harassing
- can be dangerous (a health & safety hazard)
- can be used as a tool to cheat
- can make annoying noises if someone forgets to silence their phone
- are a display of bad manners (rude)
Likewise, tutors should lead by example and not be on phones or texting while they are teaching or in a classroom or workshop situation.