A ban on mobile phones in classrooms is likely to be extended to cover primary and special schools under plans announced by outgoing schools minister Mariëtte Paul.
The education ministry said earlier this year it wanted to stop secondary schoolchildren taking phones into class from January 1, after research showed that their use reduced the average test score by between 1 and 1.5 points.
The ban will not be enshrined in law, but talks between teachers, parents and students’ representatives have produced a set of guidelines that will come into force from the start of the next school year.
The PO-raad, the council for primary schools, held a ballot of its members that resulted in a three-to-one majority in support of the measure.
PO spokesman Thijs den Otter said no figures were available for the number of children in primary school who have a phone, but anecdotal evidence suggests most own one by the time they reach Group 7, or around the age of 10.
Exceptions will be made for pupils who need their phone or tablet for medical purposes. Teachers will also be able to authorise the use of phones in class for educational purposes such as interactive quizzes or lessons on digital literacy.
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