Head defends ban on mobile use
A Newmarket headteacher, determined to crack down on classroom disruption by banning use of mobile phones, has defended the policy after an epileptic student had her phone seized.
Parent Anthony Burke, of Pinza Close, Newmarket, was furious when his 13-year-old daughter, Olivia, had her phone confiscated for a week by Newmarket College principal Dr Bob Cadwalladr.
“She uses it to take note of any episodes she has and, because she walks to and from school from Studlands Park, it is vital she can contact us if she starts to feel ill,” he said.
“I fully appreciate the school’s position on mobiles and I can understand Olivia not being allowed to have her phone while she was at school, but all I wanted was for her to be allowed to have it back at the end of the school day so she had it to walk home and then when she walked to school in the morning.
“When I explained this to the head, I had hoped common sense would prevail but he said that it was not his problem and I think that showed a total disregard for one of his pupils.”
Dr Cadwalladr told the Journal: “In the end we have got very clear rules about mobile phones in school. They have no place in lessons and we believe our policy has been very successful in reducing the incidence of mobile phones coming out in lessons.
“The first time a pupil has a phone confiscated a parent can collect it, the second time it is taken for 24 hours and the third time, which it was in Olivia’s case, it is taken for a week.
“We had made it clear that there would be no exceptions made in any case. Olivia knew what she was doing and what the consquences would be. I offered to provide Mr Burke with any medical information on the phone he needed access to but he declined.
“I understand his concerns but the mistake was Olivia’s and they must make other arrangements while her phone is confiscated. I hope she will learn from this and not be in this situation again.”
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Weather for Newmarket
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North west