As another fantastic school year draws to an end, we are already looking ahead to the next one.
We are delighted and proud to announce that Brannel School will become a ‘phone-free school’ from September 2023. We have always had a ‘no-phone’ policy, however, this is becoming increasingly hard to enforce and we are seeing a rise in the negative impact and behaviour associated with mobile phone usage.
We have taken this decision as we believe it will have an enormous positive impact on our students. The negative impact of mobile phones, and therefore social media usage, on teenage children is well-documented and undeniable. Academic achievement, social interactions and mental health and well-being are all affected in a negative way.
How will it work?
We have explored many ways to achieve a phone-free environment at Brannel and strongly believe that we are implementing the best solution.
From September, we will be issuing all students with a Yondr pouch. These phone-sized pouches have a strong magnetic lock which, once closed, cannot be opened again without a specially designed unlocking magnet.
Our non-negotiable expectation will be that students, upon arrival at school, switch their phones off and place them in their own Yondr pouch in their bag until the end of the day when they will have access to the unlocking devices before leaving.
The students will always be in possession of their mobile phones – there are no lockboxes to leave them in and they are not confiscated at the start of the day. We acknowledge that, as is the case in some other schools, routinely taking phones away from the students is unnecessary and antagonistic and we believe this solution works for everyone.
There will be obvious exceptions. Any student with a confirmed medical diagnosis that requires them to have access to a phone (for example, diabetes) will be issued with an exemption card which allows them to continue to use their phone throughout the school day.
Should you need to communicate with your child, or if they need to speak with you, our main reception can help, 01726 822485. This has always been our policy and will continue to be after the introduction of Yondr.
Frequently Asked Questions – Yondr
What if I want to reach my child during the school day?
We want our students to be engaged in their learning. Please refrain from contacting your child during the school day unless it is an emergency. Please contact Reception on 01726 822485 to reach your child. Staff will ensure messages are passed on to your child. If there is a need for your child to contact you in exceptional circumstances, staff will supervise unlocking the pouch or the main school phone line can be used.
What if there is an emergency?
In case of an emergency, we direct our students to safety first. School staff will be able to unlock a Yondr case in a matter of seconds for students once they are in a safe and secure location.
Will my child’s phone be safe?
Yes, because students are in possession of their phone in the Yondr pouch and should keep the pouch stored away in their school bags.
What if the case gets damaged?
If a student damages or loses their Yondr case, they will be required to submit their phone to reception. The Yondr case is the property of Brannel School. Any damage to or loss of school property will result in a replacement charge of £5.00 paid via ParentPay. To request a replacement pouch please contact your child’s tutor.
How can I clean my child’s Yondr pouch?
Yondr pouches do not need regular cleaning. However, they can be washed in cold water for a short cycle and dried on a short cycle and/or air dried. Pouches can also be cleaned with a disinfectant cleaner.
What if I have more questions?
There will be an opportunity to ask further questions during an online virtual meeting at the start of the new academic year.