Important Message from the Headteacher – ‘Phone Free Zone’

Dear Parents/Carers,

From 1st September 2018, Coombe Dean School is becoming a ‘Phone Free Zone’.

Between 8.40am and 3.00pm on the school site, students must keep their phones, electronic communication devices and accessories in bags on silent mode: they must not be seen, they must not be heard, and they must not be used.

Our reason for introducing this change is to improve learning and relationships. We want young people to spend more time working hard in class, more time talking to each other in their break and lunch times, and more time building positive relationships – free from the distractions of mobile phones and other electronic communication devices. In doing this, we are following the advice of the Chief Inspector of OFSTED.

The rule covers all personal mobile phones, headphones and other devices that can be connected to the internet or mobile networks or play music or games, such as iPods, game handsets and tablets. Students may continue to use school devices, such as library tablets, under the supervision of school staff.

If any of the devices are seen, heard or used in the Phone Free Zone, they will be confiscated immediately and stored securely. The device will be returned to parents only, who will be required to come to the school reception to recover the device. Further confiscations will result in students having to hand in the device at the start of each day and may lead to the school withdrawing the right for a student to bring phones or other devices onto the school site.

We understand that parents and children sometimes need to make contact with each other during the school day, and this will still be possible through the school’s telephone system. An important advantage of this approach is that the school will be better informed and better able to take action to support parents and children, if they experience problems and need help.

In order to ensure that students are fully aware of these changes, we will remind them about the new rules during the first three days of the autumn term (September 5th, 6th and 7th). Tutors will record these reminders on Class Charts; they will show up under positive behaviour as ‘Phone Reminders’. Students who are seen breaking the rules around the site will have a ‘Phone Zone Behaviour’ recorded under negative behaviour. No points, either positive or negative, will be awarded in relation to phones during the reminder period. This will ensure that everyone knows about and understands the changes.

We are aware that today’s society is becoming increasingly dependent on mobile devices, and we know that, for some young people, this will be a challenging change. We are committed to supporting those in our learning community who find the change difficult. However, we are confident that the majority of parents and students will welcome these changes. Furthermore, once we have experienced the benefits of a learning environment in which young people can enjoy working hard, talking together and building positive relationships – in person – we hope the changes will be seen as a big improvement by everyone.

If you would like to find out more about our mobile phone rules and procedures, you can visit the ‘Phone Free Zone’ page on our website:

Yours faithfully,


R Woodland

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