Chasing cheap headlines

Government policy
The impending Autumn Statement is a golden opportunity to address key problems in education – if ministers can resist the urge to chase cheap headlines, says Paul Whiteman
Image: Adobe Stock -

Recent government announcements relating to schools have been designed to make waves in the media.

Yet the plans for guidance on pupils’ use of mobile phones and letters to schools about relationships, sex, and health education (RSHE) have left many school leaders scratching their heads.

First came the education secretary’s announcement on phones. Gillian Keegan said all schools will have to ban pupils from using mobiles throughout the school day, including during breaks.

The point of this was lost on most school leaders, who have been dealing with the issue of mobile phones for years.

They understandably became even more confused when it turned out that the widely publicised “ban” is actually to be just non-statutory guidance.

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