A SCHOOL has banned its students from using mobile phones after they were used to invade privacy and to bully, the headteacher said.

West Craven High School in Barnoldswick has written to parents to inform them of the change in policy which will come into effect after the Easter holidays.


Other schools in the area also have a blanket ban on students using mobile phones include Alder Grange School in Rawtenstall.

In a document on its website the school said that they are a "proven serious distraction" and have been used as a "means of intimidating and bullying other pupils".

West Craven head teacher Craig Baker said: “From April 25 the use of mobile phones will no longer be allowed at any time during the school day on school premises.

“This includes breaks and lunchtimes, the rule applies across the whole school site both inside and outside of the building.

“If any staff see any child’s mobile phone, they will confiscate it.

“It will be stored safely and may be collected at the end of the day by a parent or carer.

“It has proved necessary to implement this change due to the adverse effect of mobile phone use on learning.

“Mobile phones are an unnecessary distraction to students and are sometimes used inappropriately as a tool to invade other people’s privacy and as a means to bully other people.

“We would be grateful if you could support your child by ensuring that they understand the importance of complying fully with this rule and that there are no exceptions to this rule.

“If you have any questions about this rule change, please do not hesitate to contact the school.”

West Craven High School was one of the last schools in East Lancashire to announce that it is to become an academy before the government announced that all council-controlled schools would be forced to convert.

The academisation of the school was confirmed in December last year and is expected to be made formal later this year.

In March the government announced that every Lancashire County Council and Blackburn with Darwen Council-run school will be forced to become an academy and a formal bill is set to be debated in parliament in the coming months.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I’m all for a blanket ban as schools should be places where students are focused on learning and not being distracted by their phones.

“Certainly when I was growing up mobile phones were just coming on the scene and there was a blanket ban at all schools.

“Bullying is moving more online and we are seeing across the whole country a move towards more cyber bullying instead of in person and I support this action by the school.

“I think that it will help solve a problem and also prevent further harm being done in the future.

“It’s important that mobile phones are removed from the equation.”

The school also hit the headlines in December when it announced that it was to install CCTV cameras in all pupil toilets at the request of students.

The cameras were installed in a bid to curb anti-social behaviour, to help the children remain safe as well as to ensure that the toilets were not damaged.