Dutch school phone ban means kids are chatting to each other more

Dutch school phone ban means kids are chatting to each other more

A survey by the Radboud University in Nijmegen has found that pupils who attend schools where there is a phone ban are chatting to each other more and are better able to concentrate. Despite this, not all students are happy with the policy. 

Phone bans recommended by Dutch Ministry of Education

Phone bans are not legally required by the Dutch government in schools, but have been introduced in many schools across the country following a recommendation by the Ministry of Education in 2023. The research team from Radboud University surveyed 1.000 parents, pupils and teachers at two schools in Nijmegen before the ban and then again three months into the ban.  

Research from around the world has shown that the less time young people spend on social media, the more satisfied they are with their lives, as seen in a UK study by Nature Communications. The study, along with many others that have shown similar data, shows why some schools are keen to restrict phone usage on campus.

The researchers found that students stated they experienced less bullying due to not having mobile phones in class, and talked to each other more often. According to teachers surveyed, the school students also showed greater attentiveness and focus towards their work in class. 

Research abroad shows phone bans has little impact on grades

Despite the positive social aspects of the ban, the research is not yet able to determine whether school grades will improve. Research from Norway suggests that banning phones in classrooms does not improve student performance, even if they appear more focused in class because of the ban. 

Not all students like the ban, though. “I am forced to socialise when I’m not in the mood - which is often,” one respondent said, explaining that not having a phone could sometimes be difficult at school.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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