Eton College set to give ‘brick’ phones to first years

Eton College set to give 'brick' phones to first years650cb8c0-3e90-11ef-b74c-bb483a802c97.jpg

Eton College set to give 'brick' phones to first yearsgrey-placeholderGetty Images The main courtyard on the campus of Eton College red brick facade with cream inlays to windows and a statue centreGetty Images

Boys starting at the boarding school from September will have basic phones, which can only send and receive texts and calls

Eton College is providing basic “brick” phones to pupils set to start at the school in September.

The devices, which can only send and receive texts and calls, will be given to Year 9 boys joining the Berkshire boarding school.

Eton said pupils would receive the handsets for use outside the school day, as well as an iPad to support academic study.

An Eton spokesperson said “age-appropriate controls” on devices remained in place for other year groups.

The school, which is for boys aged 13-18 and has fees of £52,749 per annum, said the move came after a routine review of its mobile phone and devices policy.

Eton College set to give 'brick' phones to first yearsgrey-placeholderGetty Images A boy, whose face is not visible and is wearing a white shirt, hold a smartphone in his handsGetty Images

Other schools have also been discouraging the use of smartphones

It said the decision was made “to balance the benefits and challenges that technology brings to schools.”

A group of 16 secondary schools in central London are also among those encouraging students not to have smartphones.

Head teachers from the schools in Southwark want to encourage students to have non-smartphone devices until they are – at the earliest – in Year 10.

Elsewhere head teachers in St Albans, Hertfordshire, have called on parents not to let their children have a smartphone before they are 14.

In Blandford, Dorset, primary school Milldown Academy wants to bring in a scheme where parents can hire or borrow a basic phone for little or no cost to overcome inappropriate smartphone use.

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