30th November 2018
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A leading girls’ independent school has asked its pupils and their parents to sign a contract promising to reduce smartphone use at home.
South Hampstead High School said that it wanted to help families to reset digital habits by requesting them to ban phones during mealtimes and to use commuting time to “read, listen to a book or talk”. The terms of the voluntary contract include a promise to implement a phone-free weekend or a digital holiday.
The contract states that students and their parents will not use their phones within an hour of going to sleep and that they will be charged outside the bedroom overnight.
“The contract is purely voluntary but it is something we hope might help families set some ground rules,” Laura Lee, one of its authors, said. “What parents do is really important and has a big impact on children. If checking a phone at the dinner table is their norm, it becomes the norm for the children too.”
Millions of parents admit that they are struggling to cope with screen-obsessed children, as well as managing their own phone addiction. Ms Bingham said she hoped that the contract would help parents to take a stand against what often felt like an “unstoppable tide” of social media and phone use.
She will also write to parents before they send their children into the first year of senior school, urging them not to give them smartphones.
She said: “When pupils start senior school they are coping with new teachers, a new building, new subjects and making new friends. Why would we throw another complex new factor into the mix in the form of a smart phone?”
Scottish private schools worth £260m to economy
The Independent Schools Council, representing more than 1,300 schools UK-wide, commissioned the research which also found the sector contributed £6.05 billion directly, to the UK economy.
Scotland has more than 70 independent schools. The report, by Oxford Economics, shows the highest concentration of such schools was in the south-east with 397, followed by London with 236. “The 397 schools in the south east have a direct GVA (value of goods and services) impact of £1,919 million per annum. Yards ahead of every other country and region,” the report states. Larry Flanagan, general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said: “Independent schools clearly make a contribution to the Scottish economy as teachers, most of whom are trained through our Initial Teacher Education Institutions, require to be paid and schools need staff to function. “Scotland’s economy and society also benefit substantially from the contributions of state schools and other state-supported educational establishments, which also offer a high quality educational experience.”
Read more at: https://www.scotsman.com/news/education/scottish-private-schools-worth-260m-to-economy-1-4836950
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