Mobile phones: To ban or not to ban…

A recent research report suggests that banning mobile phones in schools will improve exam outcomes – but it is not as clear-cut as that, says Gerald Haigh

Among the issues likely to generate heat among teachers and parents is whether schools should ban students from bringing in their mobile phones. Now, a research paper from the London School of Economics (LSE) Centre for Economic Performance, based on a study of 91 secondary schools, shows a correlation between banning phones and improved GCSE results. 

Dr Richard Murphy, one of report’s authors says, in a Guardian interview: “If schools have concerns about students being distracted by their phones, a strict ban on mobile phones does seem to be effective in improving student test scores.”

That’s it, then, done and dusted? Certainly a host of under-the-line pundits think so. A typical reader comment on the Guardian’s report says: “Is this going to win an award for a piece of research into the blindingly obvious?”

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