Headteacher bans parents from having phones out at school gates

Headteacher bans parents from having phones out at school gates Headteacher bans parents from having phones out at school gates

The headteacher of a Sussex infant school has asked parents to put their phones away when they collect their children in the afternoon.

Andrew Best, head of Pashley Down Infant School, in Eastbourne, put the plea in a newsletter and has reported a positive response to the new policy.

Mr Best launched the appeal to parents as an attempt to 'resurrect the joy of conversation'.

He wrote in an April newsletter to parents: 'There have been numerous occasions where I see our children coming out of class at the end of a school day, excited or relieved to see whoever is picking them up, only to find their adult scrolling at their phone, typing a message or on a phone call and it's sad to see.

'I do believe that if we can raise awareness of it, then we are helping to ensure we can try and resurrect the joy of conversation back into the community.'

Last week Mr Best reiterated his plea, adding that it had been met with positive reviews.

'I wanted to say that I had a number of positive comments about the use of mobile phones on the school grounds, following my message in our last newsletter,' he wrote.

'I've also seen less out at pick up time and more conversations taking place with your children, which is fantastic.'

One of the positive parents told BBC Radio Sussex that she thought it was good for children to come out to 'mummies and daddies and grandparents looking out for them with big smiles on their faces' rather than to parents and guardians consumed by their phones.

However, one mother said that although she agreed with the sentiment of the recent crackdown on phone use, she sees the time stood outside the gates as an opportunity for those waiting to keep across their 'busy lives'.

Someone else was pleased to be seeing 'quality time' encouraged by their child's school in a positive way.

Pashley Down Infant School has been contacted by MailOnline for comment.

Research shows that parents' smartphone use can have an adverse impact on their child's emotional intelligence and development.

A study by professor Robin Nabi of UC Santa Barbara explained that parental phone use is associated with 'still face - an expressionless look often interpreted as depression.

'The takeaway is for parents to be more mindful of how often they are using their phones around their children,' she wrote. 'Where their eyes are sends a message to their children about what's important.'

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