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Teacher’s cunning plan to tackle phone addiction (but the kids won’t like it)

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Andrew O’Neill wants to extend the opening times of his school (Picture: Google)

A London headteacher has announced plans to introduce a 12-hour school day from 7am to 7pm in a bid to help with children’s ‘phone addictions’.

Andrew O’Neill, who is the headteacher at All Saints Catholic College in Notting Hill, west London, has said his pupils will be participating in dodgeball, basketball, art, drama and cookery classes, rather than being at home on their phones.

The headteacher told The Times that smartphones were creating an apathetic and anxious generation of children, and had found ‘some of the most shocking things I have ever seen’ on devices.

This includes pupils blackmailing and catfishing others online, to humiliate another, as well as sexting and cyberbullying.

He has noticed pupil’s behaviour changing (Picture: All Saints CC)

The school originally banned its 900 pupils from carrying phones in 2016, but they are allowed to keep their devices in lockers.

O’Neill has also expressed his concern for the children’s social skills, and said he was worried about their ability to make friends in real life, as many were playing online games until the early hours of the morning.

He said he had noticed the impact this had on his pupils, as they are growing worse at making eye contact and holding conversations.

‘We have a long-term issue we need to solve,’ he told the Times.

‘Some children are so apathetic. They don’t care about anything.

‘They are buried in their phones.’

Mr O’Neill said that his own three children only have ‘brick phones’ and smartphones without social media so their locations can be tracked.



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This plan comes after John Wallis School in Ashford, Kent has seen an improvement in student behaviour since introducing a special pouch to lock devices away in.

The pouches are unlocked using a magnet at the end of the day when the children leave school.

Since the introduction of this scheme in January, the school has reported a 40 per cent decrease in after-school detentions and a 25 per cent drop in truancy.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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