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Student mobile phones on overseas trips.

Discussion in 'Secondary' started by dfranko80, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. dfranko80

    dfranko80 New commenter

    Having just returned from a successful but frustrating (at times) overseas residential to Germany I want to share my recent issues we encountered for the first time in 17 years of leading a residential. I am also after ideas to overcome these issues other than the obvious.

    Whilst I am always on the hunt for the best mobile phone deal with the best data package for myself, I soon realised on night one of the recent trip this was going to be the bane of my life for the next 6 nights. On previous trips we have never really had a problem with students taking mobiles other than losing them, phoning home too frequently (or not at all) and misuse of pictures/videos/texts etc. I knew very soon when the one student who I was unsure about letting attend the trip had their hotspot available the whole 18 hour journey there. Unlimited data I heard him cry, you can pay me £1.50 a day to use it! The kid was onto something here. Gutted he got in there first.

    The issue was at night time when trying to get the 7 tent groups off to sleep. Bright lights from phones illuminated the canvas/nylon and regular cross words from the four staff were fired in to 2 or 3 of the tents. 3 hours later on a couple of nights we were still trying to get students to go to sleep.

    Never had this issue before as there has never had wifi on the campsite. Group chats and social media were never really problem until now. We applied the appropriate sanctions where students lost time on the activities but this had minimal effect on 2 particular students.

    Now I know the ideal solution would be to not allow mobile phones at all and we are considering that for future trips. What do people do in other schools. Please comment and share your ideas. Thanks
  2. Diagro

    Diagro New commenter

    Signal Jammer will solve your problems *if you are on a campsite and away from public*
  3. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    I have been on trips where phones were banned. It is important that this rule is made know before booking.
    bonxie likes this.
  4. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    You can buy very cheap basic mobile phones. How about allowing those, so they can call or text home or contact a member of staff in an emergency, but ban smart phones so no access to the internet or social media.
  5. gainly

    gainly Star commenter

    Provided this was made clear from the start, it might have the added bonus of discouraging some less desirable kids from booking.
  6. Piranha

    Piranha Star commenter

    Or maybe say that phones may only be used in and emergency (and at certain times?) and will be confiscated if this rule is broken. Parents are told clearly about this before booking.
    bonxie likes this.
  7. ViolaClef

    ViolaClef Lead commenter

    What age were the pupils?

    I think there are only two options available:
    1. No mobile phones allowed on the trip. Any pupils not complying will have their phones confiscated for the duration.
    2. Phones are handed in at night and kept safe by staff then handed out again in the morning.
    I have known of a Year 8 camping trip where no phones were allowed. And some boarding schools make pupils hand in their devices at bedtime.

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