Smartphones

Parents banned from using cell phones when picking up their kids

File Photo: A Samsung S7 Edge Blue Coral smartphone is displayed during the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada January 5, 2017. (REUTERS/Steve Marcus)

File Photo: A Samsung S7 Edge Blue Coral smartphone is displayed during the 2017 CES in Las Vegas, Nevada January 5, 2017. (REUTERS/Steve Marcus)

A school has put up signs at its entrances asking parents not to be on their phones when they pick up children after classes.

St Joseph's RC Primary in Longlands, Middlesbrough, is calling on parents to interact with youngsters rather than being on their mobiles, with the aim of encouraging pupils to have discussions with their families at the end of the school day.

The signs at three entrances to the school say: "Greet your CHILD with a SMILE, NOT A MOBILE."

Headteacher Elizabeth King said she was trying to develop youngsters' speaking and listening skills, and said parents had responded "positively".

She also denied the signs were in response to any perceived problem at the school.

She told Teesside's The Gazette: "We are always looking at ways to engage parents. We've got them at each entrance and at the foundation entrance.

"They are simple, but give a really important message.

"We are trying to develop our speaking and listening, and we thought it was a really simple way to get the message across.

"It wasn't an issue among our parents, it just emphasises speaking and listening and helps the children have discussions."

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Parent Danielle Parker said: "I think they need to be up because everyone picks their kids up on their phones. I'd like to think they'd make a difference."

Another parent, Danielle Savage, said: "I agree with it, it's a good thing. But it only works if you're having discussions all the time at home, not just when you're collecting your child.

"That's when it will make a difference."

But one unnamed parent said they did not "see the point in the signs" as "I don't think that many people use their phones anyway", while another called the move "a bit daft".

This story originally appeared in Sky News.