29th February 2008 at 00:00
In our school, pupils' mobile phones are confiscated by staff. But one member of senior management was seen messing around with pupils, having his picture taken. What should we do about this apparent double standard?

Margaret, Lincolnshire

A: This behaviour from a member of the senior management team seems irresponsible. Mobile phone rules are difficult to enforce at the best of times, so this attitude will have a negative impact on the effectiveness of whole school policy. This teacher is putting themselves at risk of possible litigation by having pictures taken by pupils. Surely they realise this? Report it to someone who can take immediate action.

John, Cumbria

A: Your senior colleague is demonstrating irresponsibility at best and hypocrisy at worst. How can we expect pupils to obey rules if staff can't?

It's now a question of how the matter is pursued. Let's assume it was a misguided attempt to bond with pupils and nothing more than a well-intentioned mistake. In which case, I would let it lie - unless it becomes a habit.

Sue, East Grinstead

A: This is a case of "should know better". In a school where there is a policy of confiscating mobile phones, I can only suggest that you confiscate that of your colleague, who has demonstrated a lack of responsibility in handling this technology

Rod, Middlesex


Q: Some teachers believe many of our low-ability pupils are capable of sitting exams (Sats, GCSEs), but our special needs department seems to want to withdraw them. What is the best way to handle this?

Q: The new headteacher at our small rural primary has asked all staff and pupils to address her by her first name. This breaks a long-held tradition and staff are concerned. We don't want to follow suit. How does this work in other schools?

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