SCHOOLS in England have been issued new guidance on the use of mobile phones and how to ban them.

The advice, issued by the Department for Education, said the move is part of a plan to “minimise disruption and improve behaviour in classrooms” and to provide a consistent approach.

It includes how to search students and their bags for devices “if necessary” and adds that headteachers “can and should identify mobile phones and similar devices as something that may be searched for in their school behaviour policy”.

The guidance is non-statutory, meaning it will still be down to individual headteachers to decide their own school policy on mobile phones and whether to ban them.

This has led to scepticism from some teaching unions questioning whether the advice will make any difference.

We went out in Basingstoke to find out what you think, and there were mixed views.

Parent Becky Halsay was against the idea of a ban on mobile phones in school and said: “My daughter needs it for safety to let me know when she’s arrived.”

Basingstoke Gazette: Frank, left, and Becky, rightThe 32-year-old mother-of-two added her children need their mobile phones for homework, which is usually set online, but added: “My children do all their homework on paper as I specifically ask for it because they can’t do it on their devices.”

Tesco worker Frank believes mobile phones “distract children from learning” and “stop children from focusing on their education”.

He added: “It is a massive addiction and causes other problems like social interactions and going outside.”

Mother of three Karen Hutchins, 28, said: "I don’t agree with the ban as my daughter lets me know when she’s arrived at school and is safe.

"My children don’t use their phones during the day.

"My children do what they are told and get off their devices when asked.

"The kids need it for homework as well as a safety net for when they are out."

Reanna Olive, 18-years-old, told the Gazette: "I find the ban fine as I had it in school when I was a child and it distracted me.

"I didn’t need it but I had it in case of emergencies."

She added: "The teachers would have to ask my parents permission if they wanted to search through my bag." 

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below or emailing