Fining pupils for mobile phones in school

Image: Jessica Gow

While not uncommon to ban mobile phones in schools, a Leicester high school recently made the headlines by charging £2 to parents wishing to reclaim their children’s confiscated devices.

The school’s electronic devices policy explained that the charge would be given to charity.

Ramona Derbyshire, a commercial litigation partner at Thrings, was asked by Schools Week to comment on the legality of the policy. She explained that schools could confiscate phones, but could not “impose a charge as a disciplinary process”.

Since the charge is classed as a charitable contribution, Ramona said it needs to “be clear that there is no obligation to make any contribution and parents must not be made to feel pressurised into paying as it is voluntary and not compulsory.

“The school in question is walking a thin line – the charity contribution is clearly not voluntary, it is expressly ‘required’.”

To read the full article in Schools Week, please click here.

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