Kilgraston School in Perthshire has been enjoying the benefits of ‘increased human interaction’ since mobile phones were banned.
The independent school, near Bridge of Earn, was the first in Scotland to outlaw phones in classrooms.
It introduced new rules around handheld devices at the start of the autumn term in 2018 amid concerns that concentration and social skills were being negatively affected.
The Courier has recently been highlighting cases of bullying and violence in schools and how social media and mobile phones have played a part.
But does it make a difference banning mobile phones in school?
We spoke to the head teacher at Kilgraston School to find out how the ban has been working.
Why was a ban on mobile phones brought in at Kilgraston?
The ban was introduced by former principal Dorothy MacGinty as a way of combating a “growing addiction” among teenagers to their smart phones.
Kilgraston’s 260 pupils can take phones to school and use them before entering the grounds – but they must be kept in lockers throughout the day, including during breaks and lunches.
Tablets can be used but only when needed for classes.
What have been the main benefits since mobile phone ban introduced?
Tanya Davie has been the head teacher of Kilgraston since Easter 2022 following Mrs MacGinty’s retirement.
She said pupils and staff have found the ban on mobile phones to be a positive move.
She said: “With a no mobile phone policy in school-time, we are really seeing the benefits of good old-fashioned human interaction.
“We are a close-knit school, with a strong community spirit and we have found that, for both staff and pupils alike, people are calmer and more confident with this increased human interaction.
“In the absence of phones, we must talk to each other.
“Pupils do not have access to mobile phones during the school day.
“However, staff are always available to them to discuss any issues for which a pupil believes a phone might be required.”
‘Kilgraston was a trailblazer’
Mrs Davie continued: “I am proud of the fact that Kilgraston was a trailblazer and carved out a robust policy on mobile phones in schools.
“We are passionate about educating our pupils and ensuring they get the best possible start in life, and to do this, they need to be focused and engaged.
“Having no mobile phones during the school day does not mean our pupils are not educated in using technology as we use iPads, tablets and laptops in lessons from lower third upwards.
“These are used as tools to learn because we want our pupils to be digital citizens of the world.”
She added: “But we are encouraging technology to be used in the correct way and for the correct purposes such as computing, design and art.”