Headteacher BANS parents from using mobile phones in school playground so kids aren’t ignored

15 October 2019, 10:47 | Updated: 15 October 2019, 10:50

A school has banned mobile phones in the playground
A school has banned mobile phones in the playground. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

One school in Wigan has hit the headlines after it banned mobile phones in the playground.

While it’s usually pupils getting in trouble for looking at their phones during the school day, now a headteacher has made her playground a mobile-free zone.

Wendy Cathie at St Peter's CE Primary School in Leigh says she made the shock move because pupils are often ignored by parents and grandparents when they’re picked up.

In an attempt to encourage interaction between parents and their kids, the new rules state that mobile phone use is banned from the playground.

In a post to parents on the school's Facebook page, the school said: "How many of you are so engrossed in a conversation with your friend or on the phone, that you forget to say to your child 'Hi how was your day?' smile warmly at them or give them a hug? I am sure we have all done that."

St Peter's CE Primary School in Leigh
St Peter's CE Primary School in Leigh. Picture: Google Street view

It continues: “The smiles on their faces when they notice you on the playground. Often running to you and starting a conversation before you can hear them over the buzz of other people's conversations.

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“Please take a moment to listen and talk to your child. The power of talk has a huge impact on our children's language development - it stimulates brain development.

“Their wisdom grows, their vocabulary becomes richer, and they develop curiosity, critical thinking and intelligence.

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“In addition it supports a child to develop a good mental health.”

The head of the school Wendy has since told the Manchester Evening News she’s saddened when parents ignore their kids.

“It really pulls at your heartstrings when you see parents on phone calls and pupils are running out to see them,” she admitted.

So far, the school has said the reaction to the controversial new rule has been mostly positive, with Wendy continuing: "I know we don't always see what parents share but the feedback I have seen has been positive.

"There was one parent on her phone yesterday so I just said 'excuse me, we're now a mobile-free school and she just said 'oh right, sorry'."

The teacher added while the children are in their care they will be putting in place boundaries to try and improve their mental health.