Education Watch Dog To Crack Down On Pupils Using Their Mobile Phones During Lessons

Britain’s education watchdog Ofsted is cracking down on discipline in schools following a rise in classroom disruption caused by mobile phones.

It’s been found that kids are too busy to listen to their teachers as they are texting, watching videos or checking social media on their phones.

Parents, who no doubt purchased the phones for their kids, say they are concerned about children being distracted from their school work.

The Mail Online reports: Schools inspectors said they had also seen a marked increase in low-level disruption such as swinging on chairs during lessons, toe-tapping, passing notes and whispering.

As a result, Ofsted reports will now contain a behaviour category that schools must pass with flying colours to get an overall rating of ‘outstanding’.

At the moment, they are judged on the wide-ranging category ‘personal development, behaviour and welfare’.

The proposal is contained in a consultation document published today, with the changes due from September.

It states: ‘Creating a sufficiently disciplined environment is a prerequisite to any learning taking place. If behaviour is not managed effectively and learners are not instilled with positive attitudes to learning, nothing much will be learned.’

Sean Harford, Ofsted’s national director for education, said: ‘We want to really update the profile of behaviour. If every child behaved in school the standard would rocket up.’

Ofsted research shows that while serious and violent incidents have decreased, smaller distractions are on the rise.

Mr Harford added: ‘There aren’t the terrible examples as often as there were, if you go back 15 to 20 years, of behaviour. The problem now is more one about low-level disruption. That kind of thing is what has been on the rise and is the bane of teachers’ lives.’

He said teachers should instil attitudes that can be taken into the workplace, such as punctuality, being courteous and listening to each other.

Inspectors will gather evidence for their reports by interviewing staff and pupils to discover whether the school is being strict enough.

Luke Tryl, director of corporate strategy, said: ‘We had a series of polling and focus groups with parents.

‘They wanted to know would their child be learning in an environment without that low-level disruption and which is free from bullying.’

Many schools ban mobiles, an idea backed by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

Teachers have complained that their jobs are made tougher by pupils constantly texting each other during class. Some female staff have even been sexually harassed by students who take ‘upskirt’ photos and then post them on social media.

But Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: ‘Ofsted already judges schools on behaviour, so we know the overwhelming majority of schools are orderly places where children learn effectively.

‘What parents really want to know is whether their children are happy and safe in school and making good progress.

‘In nine out of ten schools, this is the case. In places where it’s not, support rather than sanction is what is needed.’