“Greet your CHILD with a SMILE, NOT A MOBILE” – parents told to stop using phones at home time

Warning signs have been put up at the entrances to a primary school in Middlesbrough

Jonathan Owen

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Parents of pupils at a primary school in Middlesbrough are being told to stop using their mobile phones when they arrive to collect their children at home time.

New signs warning people not to use their phones and to greet their children with a smile instead have been put up at entrances to St Joseph's RC Primary School in Longlands, Middlesbrough, it emerged today.

The circular road safety style sign features a red line across a figure on the phone. It states: “Greet your CHILD with a SMILE NOT A MOBILE.”

The move by the school is part of an attempt to get families talking to each other at the end of the school day.

Head Elizabeth King said: “We’ve got them at each entrance and at the foundation entrance. They are simple, but give a really important message.”

She added: “We are trying to develop our speaking and listening, and we thought it was a really simple way to get the message across.”

One parent, Jade Collett, whose four-year-old son attends the school’s nursery, supported the idea: “The kids have been at school all day so the last thing they want is for their mum or dad to be glued to their phone."

Precious Dhladhla, whose four-year-old daughter Isabella also attends the nursery, agreed: “I think it's a good thing because sometimes people pay more attention to their phone than their kids.”

But not all parents have welcomed the move. One mother called the move “a bit daft.” And a parent of a Year 2 pupil, who did not want to be named, said: “I don’t see the point in the signs, I don’t think that many people use their phones anyway.”

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Jonathan Owen

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