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Mobile Phone Use Or Policy


cleverclowns
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Hi, I am new to this forum and would appreciate any feedback on how owners/managers of settings deal with personal mobile phone use. Several of my staff have children and as a parent myself I understand the importance of checking up on them. I have a policy in force which means that staff must have their phones on silent and only use them during breaks and lunch? Does anyone else have any other ideas?

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Hello clever clowns and welcome to the forum. There was a thread about this just last week, about people using their phones to photograph children in the setting. It had lots of views about it generally. Do a forum search and you should find it if you look for phone in titles. If you can't find it, I'll do a link to it for you

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Welcome from me - hope you enjoy this great site - loads and loads on here.

 

Regarding mobile phones - staff should be with the children not on phones, however, all our staff do have their phones on, if they receive a call which is not urgent they always say they will phone them back later - have no policy, as not needed to have one.

 

Dot :o

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We're a pre-school and staff do leave phones on - they have children themselves and to be honest it's easier if their phone rings than the settings landline. All phone are in 'the back room' and not with the children. Also with todays tecnology each has it's own ring so we know who's got a call,

 

Unless staff have a feeling they may be contacted by school (some even have a 'certain ringtone' for their childs school). - they all ingnore calls knowing that messages will be left and check only at acceptable times. Luckily all staff are sensible so we need not have a 'no phones policy'.

 

It just shows how each setting is individual - for us it's definitely better to leave phone on than off!! Our staff have all been with us a long time and their friends etc know not to ring worktime anyway.

xxx

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I'm with louby loo. Our staff have their phones on for emergencies and to be honest it's never been a problem. in fact the children a a great time once chatting to my husband on speaker phone. Great for ICT learning.

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From a school perspective I think a teacher would be absolutely frowned upon if they were answering their phone in class even if they had children - it would be seen as really unprofessional!!

 

Cxx

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my staff have thier pones on a counter in kitchen - they can check whos calling and answer if there is an emergency or school call etc - they dont abuse it and ive never had an issue in 9 years - touch wood :o

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In our setting, all staff mobile phones are kept in the kitchen with personal belongings and staff do use them

until end of session (3.5hours). On staff induction I explain that the pre-school landline number should be given as an emergency contact. A policy on phones has never been necessary as all staff are aware of the use of phones during induction.

 

hope this helps

 

dottyp

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In our setting, all staff mobile phones are kept in the kitchen with personal belongings and staff do use them

until end of session (3.5hours). On staff induction I explain that the pre-school landline number should be given as an emergency contact. A policy on phones has never been necessary as all staff are aware of the use of phones during induction.

 

hope this helps

 

dottyp

 

I thought long and hard about the use of mobile phones in the workplace but decided that if staff want to be treated as professionals then they should follow the same standards as would be expected in any workplace where dealing with people is your job (adults or children). For example how peeved would we be if teachers, bank staff, supermarket staff etc were able to take mobile phone calls or read texts during working hours?

 

Our staff handbook contains the following clause:

 

"The use of mobile telephones during working hours is allowed in emergencies only. It is both unprofessional and a waste of (group name's) time to be engaging in personal telephone communication during working hours. If an employee is expecting an important telephone call the (group's) telephone number should be issued to any potential callers, prior to the start of the employees shift. Employees making personal mobile telephone calls or sending/receiving texts during working hours shall be subject to the (group's name) Disciplinary Procedure."

 

I know this sounds harsh but it's so much easier to have this upfront than trying to deal with staff whose mobiles are constantly bleeping. How on earth did we manage before mobiles?? :o

 

RR

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That sounds pretty reasonable to me! As you say, the settings telephone number can be given out so they can be contacted in an emergency. Any other calls should wait until they have finished work.

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From a school perspective I think a teacher would be absolutely frowned upon if they were answering their phone in class even if they had children - it would be seen as really unprofessional!!

I agree, catma. Just another example of how much more relaxed we are in pre-school I guess! Every setting has a phone so really there isn't a problem with a school having a work number to contact the parent on. And you can't sit on a checkout at Tesco with your mobile in your pocket can you? I'm sure they'd be safely locked away until break time!

 

Maz

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  • 3 months later...
From a school perspective I think a teacher would be absolutely frowned upon if they were answering their phone in class even if they had children - it would be seen as really unprofessional!!

 

Cxx

 

I agree - i work in a school nursery and all phones are supposed to be on silent. Theyre not always on silent!! Which is very unprofessional as far as i am concenred when phones are ringing and beeping and people are rushing to answer them when they should be with the children. The school has a number which can be given out as an emergency contact, just like any place of work.

 

It is in my opinion unacceptable. We're at work, getting paid to look after and educate children, not answer personal calls.

 

Are they harsh words?!

 

Tink! :D x

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  • 1 month later...
I agree - i work in a school nursery and all phones are supposed to be on silent. Theyre not always on silent!! Which is very unprofessional as far as i am concenred when phones are ringing and beeping and people are rushing to answer them when they should be with the children. The school has a number which can be given out as an emergency contact, just like any place of work.

 

It is in my opinion unacceptable. We're at work, getting paid to look after and educate children, not answer personal calls.

 

Are they harsh words?!

 

Tink! :D x

I have told my staff that they are not allowed phones in the rooms - they can use them on their breaks, but they must be away in the staff room or lockers at all other times.

The nursery number is given for emergency calls.

I agree it is unprofessional and allegations of camera-phone mis-use cannot be made if they are not allowed in the rooms.

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I agree, catma. Just another example of how much more relaxed we are in pre-school I guess! Every setting has a phone so really there isn't a problem with a school having a work number to contact the parent on. And you can't sit on a checkout at Tesco with your mobile in your pocket can you? I'm sure they'd be safely locked away until break time!

 

Maz

 

This is where they are supposed to be Maz and those that are caught with them whilst working get a severe telling off!! We are fortunate in the garage that if our phones ring, our lockers are in the next room so we can hear them. Although I must say that when I first returned to work after Martin's illness, I was allowed to keep my phone on me, as long as it was silent. There were times I forgot to put it on silent though and the voice of Peter Kay saying "Its spitting, its spitting, everbody in it's spitting" was heard and caused a few giggles with staff and customers alike!

 

When I completed my placement in a pre-school, our phones were kept on top of the filing cabinet and if they rang we were allowed to look and see who was calling. If it was a school that one of our own children were attending we answered it, if not ignored it! I think it depends on the setting. Obviously if staff are abusing the goodwill of the supervisor/owner and ignoring children in their care whilst on their phones, then new policies and procedures should be brought into place.

Edited by Guest
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  • 2 months later...

Difficult one I think and has to be down to the individual setting. Our staff are aware that personal calls out are not acceptable during session time.

 

But, as we don't have a landline (church hall) the Pre-school phone is a mobile and as that doesn't always have network signal (and we have chosen the most usable one in the area) we have to give out other staff mobile numbers just in case.

 

Also because we are in a small rural area i.e. everyone knows everyone else, the majority of parents have other staff mobile numbers anyway, so to answer or not is not really a question. Phones have to be on! (One parent some time ago would only ever call me on my personal mobile, re late pick up, change of pick up, even though I frequently gave details of the Pre-school mobile)

 

Plus in every other workplace I believe, there would be a central/emergency number where every member of staff could be reached, but in an absolute emergency wouldn't you dial the one you know best!

 

Rachel

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this is in our staff handbook and is also mentioned during new staff (including volunteers, students etc) induction:

 

"Mobile Phones

 

Staff should not talk or text on personal mobile phones during working hours; it takes attention away from the children and is also a safeguarding issue. If staff have an emergency, they should speak to the Manager or Deputy who will exercise due discretion and may allow use of the business phone. If you need to be contacted in an emergency by a partner or childcarer, please ask them to use the business phone number. Staff can of course use personal phones during lunch breaks or after work. "

 

this has worked most of the time and I do reminders every so often!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a visit from the local authorities as they help with policies, recent news, updates etc and we were told mobiles had to be handed into the supervisor and kept away from the children so they couldn't be used!

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We dont allow our children to chew gum, so wouldnt allow the staff to either.

 

And in regard to the mobile phone policy, we are lucky enought to have staff who do not abuse their mobiles whilst at work. And I really could say, that over the years, we have never had anyone do this and wouldnt expect them to really, as in general practitioners have good morals and ethics and take the care of the children very seriously. Maybe Ive just been lucky with staff :o

x

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Slightly off subject but....

 

We do allow phones for emergencies, but again expect them to be silent. Staff have never abused this privelidge. Our LEA did tell us and all other settings that we needed to have something in our staffing policy about the use of camera phones in light of the recent cases. I have added in an extra line, to try to show compliance without banning phones in the workplace, and have put the same paragraph into our safeguarding policy as well. It now states

 

Staff may only photograph children at the setting for use by the setting, such as for inclusion in individual children’s development folders, use on the website or for other nursery documents. All such pictures must be appropriate for their intended use. Staff are NOT permitted to use their mobile phones to photograph children.

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Hi,

I havnt actually read all the responses to this thread but i would like to add my opinion, we have just implemented a new policy on Mobile phones; we recieved advice from our Early Years Development team that suggested we cease all mobile phone use within the setting. We are no longer allowed our phones turned on within the setting and i agree with this. If you have family members that may need to contact you in an emergency then they should have the setting landline number (if there isnt one then i suppsoe thats another issue!).

 

I have had several jobs before i worked in a nursery and not once have i been allowed to use my mobile phone whilst beiong paid to do a job and i feel that caring for children should be no exception. In fact i feel that in particular people should not have the sort of distractions that a phone can provide. I will freely admit that before this policy came in i used my phone as did my colleagues but i am glad that this has been stopped. Sometimes the things that we know are good practise need to be enforced. The nursery has purchased a mobile phone for exclusive nursery use on trips and outings and for emergancies.

 

In addition to this we have also been advised to extend the policy to include all parents and visitors..........from now on only staff members will be allowed to use mobile phone or camera equipment within the setting. This may seem extreme but it is in line with advice from our council and it will keep us all safe from any suspicion following recent events and the media hype that always follows!!

 

Louise

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I whole-heartedly agree that staff should not be allowing their mobile phones to distract them from caring for the children and when in nursery I do not answer calls or texts, when I and childminding I screen my calls. I don't need the Early Years team to tell me to and if I were seriously distracted from my job in nursery I would expect the nursery manager to address the issue.

 

However I do question how anyone thinks that the children are safer from abuse or the staff are safer from allegations of abuse because of a 'no mobile phones' rule. If someone is going to abuse children and feels the need to photograph it they can have a phone or a small camera in their pocket and use without the knowledge of the other staff.

 

It is a sad lottery but a fact of life that people will go to enormous lengths to abuse children and there is very little more we can do to prevent it. We need to look at it just the same as any risk assessment. We cannot eliminate the risks and we have to consider whether the measures we take to reduce them are worthwhile. I honestly don't think banning the use of mobile phones from settings keeps children safer.

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Upsy Daisy i totally agree with you!

 

I just think that if we follow all official advice then we cant be caught out by parents etc when they read something in the paper and want to know what we do to prevent misuse of mobile phones.

 

I just feel that personal mobile phones are not necessary in any work place. Having a no phones policy means that nobody can ever abuse the privilage.

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