Kate Sutton




Dexter is lucky enough to be going on a school trip in June to the Isle of Wight for a week. Lucky to have a Mum like me who’ll cough up nearly £300 that is. (And you can see how much he loves his Mum in this photo!)


His older brother went when he was Dexter’s age, so I couldn’t really say no or I’d be swathed in guilt for the next twenty years with complaints of, “But you let Ben go to the Isle of Wight!” “Dexter, you’re 45 son … give it up already.”


Anyway, we had a meeting last night at school for the parents to find out exactly what the kids will be up to. It sounds brilliant and I’m a bit jealous I’m not going too if I’m honest. Damn kids bleeding you dry.


At the end of the meeting, the teacher in charge asked us parents if we had any questions. Of course, it was only the kids that raised their hands … until a woman two seats from me raised her hand.


“Why can’t the kids take their mobile phones?” she asked.


Now this ‘no technology’ point had been a minor bone of contention for Dexter. He is ALL about technology and the concept of not having Instagram for five days was hard to take. But dem’s the rules and he accepted it. This parent, however, seemed to have a real issue with it.


I won’t repeat the conversation verbatim here but she couldn’t grasp the idea that a) it’s just the rules so sit down and b) it’s GOOD the kids are without technology for a week!


How mad is that though? That it was a PARENT complaining that her child couldn’t take his phone? The world’s gone mad! I don’t even know what her issue was, other than, and I quote, “It’s just the way of the world that all kids have mobile phones.” She asked what would happen if her son wanted to call home and the teacher replied, “We’ll let him call home.” She asked, “What if he wants to take photos.” “He can take a camera,” the teacher replied.


I think her main beef was the WHY. WHY was she being told no?


The teachers calmly explained it was a school AND council policy. They were calm, polite and handled the somewhat hideously embarrassing situation very well.


I don’t know about you but if I had a real issue about something like this I would take it up personally with the headmaster. I certainly wouldn’t talk about it in front of the kids like that.




I’m now going to do that ‘when I was a kid’ thing, but we practically spent all our time outside when we were growing up and it didn’t do me any harm ^cough^. How is it that a parent is worried that her kid will be without his mobile for a week?! Instead of looking down at their phones, they’ll be able to experience new places, the art of conversation and … just living like a kid!


Would love to hear what you think! Am I overreacting to think this parent has completely lost the plot?


kate sutton


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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. I worked for a children activity company for years. Children with mobile phones equalled losing them, breaking them, ringing home all the time and homesickness. Children without didn’t notice after the first hour.

  2. I was just part of a Guide Camp with over 190 Girls aged between 10-14 years old. I took 6 girls from my unit, explained the no technology rule. The only protest I got was that they would not be able to contact their parents if they felt homesick. I explained I would have my mobile and all the numbers and my 6 girls were fine – which I was totally amazed by! We’ve had incidents in the past where phones have been snuck in and they have been damaged or caused rows (photos taken etc) and then the worst incident confirmed for me why they absolutely cannot have phones with them. Camping in a very rural location, middle of the night an adult turns up in a vehicle and starts opening up tents (which are full of young girls) around the camp in the pitch black. When I and another adult confronted this person they said that their daughter had called and was homesick.. we knew nothing about this or who this stranger was. Luckily another Guider did know this person and it was sorted but we have to be so careful – imagine if we had woken up the next day to find a girl had gone and was taken by a stranger?! Phones lead to problems as do a lot of the other equipment.Ultimately though the reason why I am all for the rule – the kids have so much fun they don’t even miss them. It is so good for them. I find it bizarre that another adult would not see that point of view – and like you say they could discuss it in private!

  3. You’ve summed it up perfectly Kate! I couldn’t work out what the actual issue was. All kids have mobiles… But no one will be taking them on the trip, no exceptions. Can you imagine looking after 70 kids AND their mobiles?!

  4. The only reason I wanted H to take her phone was so I could check she got their safely and she was ok each evening. Other than that, I wanted the phone away and off because she wasn’t there to be on social media!

    It was totally down to my “oh my god my child isn’t with me, so is she safe” paranoia, if the school were reliable enough to text the parents and say, “they’re here and fine” then I would have kept her phone at home!

    So, that’s a very balanced comment from me I feel…..! 🙂

    1. I understand the angst of the kids being away, I really do, and I just have to trust that the school will let us know they’re OK. But the kids don’t need the phones, it’s for our benefit if anything. And I bet you H was just fine?! The lady in question kinda went a ballistic which was just so bizarre!

  5. I am 100% behind the no technology on school trips. My little boy doesn’t get to use his iPad during the week either – only at weekends. Too much of this stuff is not good for them. They should be out playing with friends, on their bikes, hide and seek, football, running about, etc. Too much technology is not good for their development, their social skills or their little brains. Only my opinion, but something I feel very strongly about. Lorraine x

    1. I agree Lorraine, but it’s quite tricky when, like Dexter, he doesn’t live near his friends and chatting online over FIFA (or whatever) is their way of connecting and playing. I don’t mind him being on his Xbox during the week, but there are boundaries – he has to do his homework, clean his room etc and he plays football 3 times a week. It’s all about balance in my opinion, I just don’t think they should be allowed phones if they’re away for five days. Can’t believe a parent kicked off like this! x

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