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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-10835: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 18 August 2017

To ask the Scottish Government whether, and to what extent, it has reconsidered its position that it is "unreasonable and impractical to attempt to impose a ban on mobile devices in schools", in light of research by the Centre for Economic Performance (Paper No. 1350, May 2015), which demonstrated that a ban on mobile devices in schools can improve exam performance and close the attainment gap, especially with respect to pupils entitled to free school meals or with special educational needs.

Answered by: John Swinney 28 August 2017

Mobile phones are widely owned by school aged learners and, as the cited research also acknowledges, their structured use can enhance learning and teaching. To impose an outright ban and deprive learners of educational opportunities therefore remains unreasonable and impractical. Instead, the Scottish Government urges schools to think carefully about how they can best utilise mobile phones to enhance education, while also educating learners about the appropriate personal use of mobile devices.