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Mobile Phone Storage


caffinefreak
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Hi all

 

We've been told by Ofsted that we should have all staff mobile phones locked away, currently we allow staff to keep them in the staff room and have a strict policy that if any staff member was ever caught with their mobile in any of the children's rooms they will be sacked immediately for gross misconduct and any member of staff who knew they had it would be disciplined. There has never been an issue with this, I have never had any concern that anyone had snuck a phone into their room.

 

I explained this but Mrs O seemed to think it wasn't enough and they should be in a lockable box. How do you manage this is your setting? most of our staff drive and we have a private car park which is behind locked gates so is it realistic that I ask those who drive to leave phones in their cars? but then how do I know they have? I don't frisk each staff member as they walk in!

 

I could ask that all staff bring their phones to the office at the start of the day and I will lock them in the filing cabinet, I guess then I will have to get used to them going off all day even on silent! that and the 132 times every day I will be opening and closing the filing cabinet (22 staff who all have lunch and tea breaks.

 

Do I then still allow them to take their phones into the staff room on their breaks?? gggrrrrr, just one more thing to think about as if we don't have enough to do!!!

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This is interesting. On our latest safeguarding training the emphasis was less on having a phone at the setting due to the fact that if a phone or camera was going to be used inappropriately then the offender would probably have more than one phone and hid it on their person.

In fact our officer said we should be thinking more about that using the phone during working hours - so while we were in numbers was the time it was inappropriate, as we should be doing our jobs as opposed to checking our phone!

this suggested to us, that during breaks it was fine to have them nearby but during working time they were in the office with our manager - but not specifically locked away.

However, Im sure other people have had other experiences and thoughts on this.

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Interesting and as usual,each Mrs O saying something different probably.

It doesn't state anywhere that phones have to be locked up...

We are same as you caffinefreak. Staff leave in their bags in staffroom and can only use on breaks. I am happy with this and this is in our policy which my ey Advisor was happy with at our recent safeguarding audit check.

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Hi we are packaway. Ours are put in a lidded box at the beginning of each day and are in full view of everybody.

Ofsted were happy with this in Sept 2012.

Yes we do exactly the same and are also a packaway - we also ask visitors (apart from dropping off/collecting) to put their phones in too, and yes that also included MrsO when she came!

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I've seen them kept in staff individual lockers, kept in individual little bags in a box in the office, kept in staff rooms in staff's own bags etc...all were fine and kept phones out of spaces where children were being worked with.

PS: why are all Ofsted inspectors assumed to be married women? Many of the ones I know are actually Ms and some are even Mr!!

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I've seen them kept in staff individual lockers, kept in individual little bags in a box in the office, kept in staff rooms in staff's own bags etc...all were fine and kept phones out of spaces where children were being worked with.

 

PS: why are all Ofsted inspectors assumed to be married women? Many of the ones I know are actually Ms and some are even Mr!!

 

Thanks Catma and you're absolutely right, must work on my inclusive practice, from here on it they shall be known as Person O ;)

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Staff keep their phones in their bags which are stored away, we have a setting mobile phone and it is labelled with setting name .... It is on full view but stored on high shelf and is used outside of our room to contact parents etc .... It is used inline with our policy and there isn't a camera on it.

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PS: why are all Ofsted inspectors assumed to be married women? Many of the ones I know are actually Ms and some are even Mr!!

xD I usually say the 'big O' which actually, on reflection, is rather rude - I will (try) to stop doing that! :1b

OK - big confession time - my staff are 'allowed' to keep mobiles in their bags - they are not, however, permitted to use them in work hours - if they did need to they could do so in the kitchen - this is all clearly stated in my policy.......

I do think the big O rather charming Ofsted inspectors (of both gender and undetermined marital status) will probably be very well aware that unless staff are 'frisked' any person wishing to use a mobile phone for undesirable practices would just hide another phone about their person having handed over their usual phone....... :(

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My staff are the same as Sunnydays- if needing to use them, they do so in the other room. I am well aware what has happened in the past regarding mobile phones and the cameras on them but i do think some people are rather obsessed with them. Personally IF my staff were to be using their phones when with the children, I would be more concerned about them being 'unavailable' to the children then anything else.

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All staff turn their phone off when arriving at work and place it in a security box on a shelf. I don't lock it as I don't feel I have to. Ofsted only asked if I had a mobile phone policy, in March, I said yes (which I do) and that was that. She didn't even check the policy. Once again, depends on who you get and what their pet issue is. About time they all sung off the same song sheet so we can all get a 'fair' rating!!

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I am wondering if Lord/ Lady /Sir / HRH / Dr / Mr /Ms / Mrs O should focus rather more on how settings stop parents from using mobile phones when delivering and collecting their children - and give them credit for trying to do so? We have signs up everywhere saying mobiles should not be used in the nursery space, they are told at Registration, and it is in the parent handbook. We explain it is partly for safeguarding issues, but also that it will help their child if they have their parent's attention when dropping of and collecting. And yet, almost weekly, I have to ask a parent to finish their mobile phone conversation or go outside - and usually get black looks, lots of huffing and puffing, stamped feet and, yes, abusive language, which I then have to ask them not to use in front of the children.

Mobile phones are obviously useful but they are so addictive. Is there as mobile phone addicts support group anywhere that I can send my parents to?!

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Hi we are packaway. Ours are put in a lidded box at the beginning of each day and are in full view of everybody.

Ofsted were happy with this in Sept 2012.

Same for us , Ofsted were more than happy , we also ask all visitors to turn off and put them away

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I know we are concentrating on mobile phones, but what about the new watches that link to smart phones e.g. Galaxy gear ....we will soon need a policy to cover these as well. They have cameras on them! Oh dear this is very worrying. I am going to discuss with committee tomorrow.

Edited by Carol
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At the end of the day the people that are sick enough to do anything will find a way to use their phone/camera/watch whatever it is :-( In our policy it says about mobile phones/ camera and any other recording devices too! But hadn't even thought of those new watch things! If staff are waiting for/ anticipating a call (eg poorly child at school) they can have their phone on a shelf out of children's reach so it can be heard although we do ask that they give the landline number for emergency contact.

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