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Stop using iPads in lessons to prevent bullying, minister says

Stop using iPads in lessons to prevent bullying, minister says Science & Technology World Website

Schools must reduce the use of iPads during lessons amid concerns that children are using them to bully and harass one another, a minister has warned.

Edward Timpson, the Minister for Children and Families, said a number of schools were allowing children to spend "too much" of the day on their devices.

He also called on headteacher's to use their powers to confiscate tablets and iPads being brought into schools if they are being used "inappropriately."

Speaking to peers on the House of Lords Communications Committee, he said: "A problem in a number of schools which we've sought to address is the iPad or the tablet coming into schools and it forming far too much of the school day's activities of children and it being used inappropriately for some of the bullying and harassment that we know sadly goes on the back of it.

"That's why we've strengthen the powers of headteachers to confiscate and remove material and so on."

Mr Timpson said schools need to find a "technology balance" and ensure that teachers still interact with pupils, so it doesn't become a "battleground" between them and their devices.

"Children will be spending more of their life living through a tablet. It is the direction we now know is going to be taking hold for the foreseeable future and we have to respond to that," he said.

Last year, the Department of Education's discipline tsar Tom Bennett began a wide-ranging inquiry to see how schools could improve behaviour, which included looking at whether students should be stopped from bringing tablets and phones into lessons.

More than 90 per cent of teenagers have mobile phones, but a study by the London School of Economics claimed schools where they were banned saw test scores rise by an average of 6 per cent.

There is currently no government policy about mobile phone use in England, as schools have to set restrictions themselves.



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