A HEADTEACHER has praised the success of a decision to ban “disruptive” mobile phones from school.

Harwich and Dovercourt High School headteacher Kate Finch introduced the withdrawal of the devices from the beginning of the summer term.

Mrs Finch took the decision after asking parents for their views on mobile phones in schools.

Following being asked for their views, parents “overwhelmingly agreed” they wanted their child to have a phone for their journeys to and from school, but the device should not be seen or heard while on the premises.

And now, in plans for a radical overhaul, the devices could be banned from schools in England as soon as January under plans being considered by the Government, it was revealed on Monday.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has launched a consultation on behaviour in schools, which will consider creating ‘mobile phone-free’ days.

It is hoped the plans would help to create 'calm classrooms' as Mr Williamson believes the handsets can be distracting and potentially 'damaging' when misused.

Mrs Finch has said she believes the school’s ban is paying off and is encouraging the Government to follow suit.

“The mobile phone ban was supported by parents and gratefully received,” she said.

“I think all of us, as teachers and parents, want our children to communicate well and to be mentally healthy – conversation helps enormously with this.

“Children are often quietly relieved when they are not able to use their phones as the constant pressure of keeping in touch and knowing what is going on is removed, taken out of their hands.

“Social media, which is the main use of phones among young people, has become a toxic place and we need to do everything we can to relieve children of the burden of feeling they must participate and have a presence in it.

“Additionally, and frankly, phones are disruptive to learning in school - I am very happy the Government seems to be realising this too.”

Prior to the Easter break, Mrs Finch sent out a letter to parents to explain the rationale behind the impending decision.

She wrote: “The greatest negative impact of lockdown on young people was the loss of social time with their peers, face-to-face, interacting and talking.

“Now we have returned we feel it is more important than ever students socially interact at break times, developing their social skills.

“The disruptions to on-site learning over the past year mean every minute in school is more important than ever as we seek to catch up on any lost learning.”