https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2018/06/20/education-in-the-media-wednesday-20-june-2018/

Education in the media: Wednesday 20 June 2018

Teacher and class

Today’s blog looks at the 30 free hours of childcare and mobile phone use in schools.

Childcare

On Wednesday 20 June the National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA) published a survey of childcare providers’ experiences of delivering the 30 hours childcare offer, particularly relating to costs and affordability. This survey is based on the experience of 709 nurseries but there are 45,000 childcare providers delivering the government's childcare entitlements. This was covered by BBC Breakfast, PA, the Financial Times and Nursery World.

The government’s early delivery evaluation reports of the 30 hours offer showed that a high proportion of providers (83%) who delivered the existing entitlements were willing and able to offer the extended hours. In addition, 36% of providers had increased occupancy and 40% had increased staff hours or the number of staff as a result of delivering 30 hours.

Children and Families Minister, Nadhim Zahawi said:

Almost 300,000 children are now benefiting from a free nursery place thanks to the roll out of our 30 hours offer. That means thousands of hardworking parents are saving an average of £5,000 a year on childcare.

Our research has shown that more than 80 per cent of providers are willing and able to offer places under this programme with a third saying that had managed to increase the number of places available and 40 per cent able to increase staffing hours.

Mobile phones

On Wednesday 20 June the Daily Telegraph has published comments from Culture Minister Matt Hancock about mobile phones in school.

Schools can ban or limit the use of mobile phones on school premises and during the school day. Schools should make any policy in regard to mobile phones known to staff, pupils and parents, and they should outline any sanctions that will be imposed for breaking the rules. The DfE guidance for schools is online.

A DfE spokesperson said:

Head teachers already, of course, have the power to ban mobile phones in schools and we support their right to do so. We know that 95% of schools already impose some kind of restriction on mobile phones use during the school day, with a substantial number banning them from the school premises altogether.

For further information on schools’ policies regarding mobile phones please see the Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey 2013 here.