Fears over the disruption to classrooms from pupils using smartphones have prompted the Government to commission a review into the way technology affects behaviour in schools.
Children should not be allowed smartphones until they are 16, according to Tom Bennett, the school behaviour expert leading the review. And teachers should not allow them unless absolutely necessary, says Mr Bennett, who is already leading another review into how teachers are trained to tackle bad behaviour.
He has now been asked to look at the wider challenges of managing modern classrooms. Although technology can enhance learning, teachers have reported that the growing number of children bringing digital devices into class is leading to disruption, officials warn.
“We need to make sure the advice we give to schools, and the approaches being used are fit for the 21st century when even primary school pupils may be bringing in phones or tablets. That is why we have taken the decision to expand Tom Bennett’s review to look at how teachers can tackle bad behaviour,” said Nick Gibb, the schools minister. “Whether it is the use of mobile phones or the attitudes of parents to their child’s behaviour in class, we will now probe deeper into behaviour to ensure that no child has to put up with having their education disrupted by misbehaviour.”
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