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Parents And Students To Be Consulted On Smartphone Use In Schools


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Schools will have to draw up their own guidelines on smartphone use, according to the Education Minister.

Richard Bruton says schools will be required to consult with parents and pupils over the use of smartphones.

It will be required under the Government's Parent and Student Charter Bill 2016, with Minister Bruton says he is prioritising.

If enacted, the legislation will require schools to consult with parents on a range of issues - such as admission policies, complaint procedures and school costs.

Minister Bruton - who is set to address delegates at the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI) conference today - said smartphone use will be a 'requiring consultation' under the new rules. 

Schools will be asked to look at areas such as appropriate use of smart devices, whether they can be used for things such as photos or videos, and whether phones can be used on school grounds outside of class time.

Minister Bruton said: “The use of smart phones and tablet devices by our young people is an area that has increasingly caused concern. New technologies are fundamentally transforming the world we live in.

"These changes offer fantastic opportunities for our young people but also pose potential risks, which we as a government must respond to.  

"Today’s announcement, that schools will consult with parents on the use of smart phones in their schools will ensure that parents,students and schools have a shared understanding of  the smart phone use policy their school has in place.”

A spokesperson for the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI), however, suggested most schools already have rules on smartphones - and said a blanket ban wouldn’t work.


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