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The phone-free, 12-hour school-day experiment – podcast | News

From the isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to austerity and the cost of living crisis, schools are on the frontline of the issues facing the communities they surround them. And in recent years, these challenges have been compounded by concerns about the impact that mobile phones and social media are having on students’ mental health. Now, one school has decided to take drastic action.

All Saints Catholic College in Ladbroke Grove has been opening its doors to children from 7am to 7pm for the past seven weeks. It’s part of a 10-week pilot programme aimed at addressing some of the issues teachers have seen over the past few years. The school is located just down the road from Grenfell Tower and is thriving, with many children eligible for free school meals. Now the school wants to support parents so their children can do their homework, play games and socialise face-to-face.

But is keeping kids in school even longer really the best idea? And how do over 100 kids feel about making clay pots instead of scrolling? Helen Pidd and Courtney Yusuf Spend 12 hours there to find the answer.



All Saints Catholic University students laughing at a long table with paintbrushes

Photo: Graham Robertson/The Guardian

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