Pupils told to hand in mobiles phones before lessons at The Wensleydale School

Julia Polley, head teacher at The Wensleydale School.

Pupils at The Wensleydale School will have to hand in their mobiles at the start of each lesson next term, the head teacher has announced.

The school made headlines nationally last term when it considered plans to use technology to block mobile phone 3G signals in the school building as part of a crackdown on phones causing a distraction to students.

However, the plan was aborted after it was pointed out that blocking phone signals was illegal.

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In a new letter to parents, headteacher Julia Polley has now announced that pupils with have to hand in their phones at the start of each lesson for them to be placed in a clear plastic box at the front of the class.

Alternatively, pupils can keep their phones in their lockers.

Mrs Polley said in the letter: “The reason behind this decision is to remove the temptation to check emails, send texts or access other media during lesson time.

“If a student refuses to hand in their phone, it will be confiscated by a senior member of staff and placed in the safe in Reception from where it can be collected by parents/carers.”

The headteacher said she had not taken the decision lightly.

She added: “I recognise that some students do need a phone for personal safety on the journey to and from school.

“If you are concerned about the handing in of expensive phones, I would urge you to consider persuading your child to leave their phone at home.

“We will trial this over the next few weeks and I will let you know how it goes.”