Thank you for your support in my first half term at Magnus. It has been a busy one with many positive events taking place including our first European Day of Languages, a visit from Bishop Paul and a number of successful sports fixtures and tournaments.
I understand that some parents have felt that the section of our uniform policy relating to hairstyles was not clear and therefore we have taken this into consideration and have updated our policy to clarify our expectations. This is detailed below, as is updated guidance on the use of mobile phones and jewellery. If you need any assistance with this please contact your child’s pastoral manager directly.
Hairstyles should be neat in a natural colour and not be extreme in style. Where hair is cut short, this should not be extreme and preferably no shorter than a grade 2. As a general guide, examples of extreme hair styles might include hair that is dyed an artificial colour; any two-tone; colouring/bleaching for example the effect resulting in hair being ‘dip dyed’; excessive use of a hair product to encourage hair to stand up; hair that is shaved very short in some places but left longer on the top/in the middle, hair that is combed into any sort of Mohican style, hair that has any sort of pattern or parting shaved into it. Some fashion styles are proving problematic where hair is ‘side parted’ by shaving short on one side and combing longer strands of hair to the other side. The principal reserves the right to assess whether a style is considered extreme or not. Parents should consult, in advance, if they are unsure as to the suitability of a change of style. Caps of all kinds must not be worn in and around the academy.
As you are aware we have clear guidance regarding the use of mobile phones at Magnus. Currently the school behaviour policy states that mobile phones are not allowed in buildings, other than the restaurant. When seen in lessons or other buildings, students are given a warning, if a student receives 2 warnings in any school week their phone will be confiscated until Friday at 3pm when a parent/carer can collect it.
The aim of all staff at the academy is to create the very best climate for learning to ensure that students are fully prepared for lessons and any distraction is eliminated. Unfortunately, staff are still having to deal with students having mobile phones out both in lessons and in the corridors and spend time daily dealing with the issues that arise on social media.
Research shows that where mobile phones are able to cause distraction there is a proven improvement in student progress when they are banned completely. This is the decision taken by the majority of schools in the country and a decision which I must consider.
I plan to review the use of mobile phones in the academy with any significant changes being implemented in January 2017, however in the meantime there will be a slight change to the current policy which will take effect from Monday 31st October; this information has been shared with students this week.
The rules regarding mobile phones and all electronic devices will be:
Mobile Phones/Electronic Devices must not be seen in classrooms/corridors. If seen the student will be given a warning and their device will be confiscated immediately and taken to student reception. Students can then collect their device from student reception at the end of the day. This is their first warning and should the student break the rules again during that week the device will be confiscated until Friday. Devices confiscated until Friday will require collection by a parent/carer (as per the current policy).
To ensure students are safeguarded appropriately, any student caught or proven to have taken photographs/video/voice recordings of staff or students will have their device confiscated until Friday of that week and could face exclusion. These students will no longer be permitted to have a mobile phone in the academy.
With regards to jewellery, we are also following a similar policy to mobile phones. Students who are wearing jewellery and not complying with the academy’s uniform policy will have it confiscated and placed at student reception to be collected at the end of the day. If jewellery is confiscated from the same student more than once in the same week it will remain with student reception until collected by a parent/carer on the Friday afternoon of that week.
I hope that you will support this continued drive to raise standards at Magnus. I believe these steps will ensure that time is no longer wasted dealing with students’ uniform and mobile phones issues which cause distraction to learning and raise potential safeguarding issues and I will review future policy in due course. All policies with regard to uniform and behaviour can be found on our website.
Once again I would like to thank you for your support in helping us continue to raise standards and outcomes for our students at Magnus.
Mrs A Martin