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School principal explains why mobile phones have been banned

The debate's been running for years: are mobile phones bad for children ?

Now, at least, in one part of the South East, and for one age group, that question has been answered.

Ebbsfleet Academy in North West Kent has banned mobile phones - with impressive results.

Alison Colwell is in charge of the school. She told Sangeeta why the ban had been introduced

Huge improvement in GCSE results after banning of mobile phones

The phones are banned at Ebbsfleet Academy Credit: ITV

GCSE results at the Ebbsfleet Academy in Kent are almost twice as good since the school banned smartphones in 2013.

Jon Coles, the head of United Learning, which oversees around 50 schools, says the costs of allowing the use of mobile phones in school are much greater than the opportunities.

The White Horse Federation of seven primary schools in Swindon also bans mobile phones during the school day in order to improve pupil behaviour.

Technology is transforming society and even classrooms - but all too often we hear of lessons being disrupted by the temptation of the smartphone.

Learning is hard work and children are all too aware of this. So when they have a smartphone in their pocket that offers instant entertainment and reward, they can be easily distracted from their work.

This is a 21st Century problem and the majority of schools are dealing with it effectively. But I will now probe deeper into this issue, and behaviour challenges more broadly, to uncover the real extent of the problem and see what we can do to ensure all children focus on their learning.

– Tom Bennett, school behaviour expert


Bournemouth's free Wi-Fi service attracts 116,000 users

Bournemouth is offering a free Wi-Fi service Credit: ITV

Since it went live a year ago, Bournemouth’s free Wi-Fi service has seen 116,272 users login to the network, with activity peaking this August. During the Air Festival the network was used by more than 4,000 people.

User data collected shows that 58 per cent of users speak English as their first language with 42% speaking a foreign language as their first language - primarily German, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish and Portuguese.

Of all users, 58 unique languages were identified, reflecting the cosmopolitan character of the town.

The average age user of the service is 28 years old; the oldest being 98 years old and the youngest 11 years old.

Rugby fans: Time to get ITV's World Cup App!

ITV's Rugby World Cup app is now live. It's free – and available for Apple, Android phones and tablets from their respective app stores.

The app features the latest news and will include highlights of every match, plus statistics, facts and figures. There's also a fun swipe kicking game.

Rugby World Cup 2015 Credit: ITV Meridian
ITV's World Cup App Credit: ITV Meridian

There's a live mode too, which we'll activate during live match broadcasts - you will be able to vote on Television Match Official (TMO) calls and other crucial moments, in real time, and the kicking game will also appear live, giving users the chance to kick from the same position on the pitch as the real pens/conversions are taken.

Of course we'd really appreciate it if you'd download it, spread the word, and give us any feedback you have.

ITV's World Cup App Credit: ITV Meridian

By the way, if you want to watch live RWC games simulcast on your phone or tablet, you can do so via the ITV Player app – our app has been created as a second-screen product to complement our coverage.

Go to your App store - and search for itv rugby world cup 2015!

How does the world's largest car carrier stay afloat?

The world's largest car carrier has arrived in Southampton as part of its maiden voyage.The Hoegh Target can carry 8,500 cars and has a deck space of 71,400 square metres - the size of 10 football pitches. It's owned by the same company of the ship that grounded in Southampton earlier in the year. But how safe is it? Our transport correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

Dawn of a new era for Rolls-Royce in Sussex

Rolls-Royce, the luxury car maker based in Sussex, has unveiled its new masterpiece - the Dawn.

The very first Dawn was a midnight sapphire blue version, with a mandarin orange interior.

Nearly every car that leaves the Goodwood plant is made to order. The Dawn has a 6.6 litre engine, which propels the Rolls to 62mph in under five seconds.

And the cost? A cool £250,000...


One of world's biggest ships arrives in Southampton

The ship can carry 8,500 cars Credit: Mike Pearse

The world's largest car carrier has berthed at Southampton as part of its maiden voyage.

The Hoegh Target has capacity for 8,500 cars and deck space of 85,394 square yards. She is visiting the Hampshire port on her journey from East Asia to Europe, and onwards via Africa.

eBay 20th anniversary - South's unusual items & bids

Buying and selling over the internet has become the norm and there are lots of sites you can use, eBid webstore and of course the most famous eBay.

Well eBay is 20 years old today and you can pretty much buy everything on it. Over the years we have reported on some of the more unusual things that have gone on sale - as Sally Simmonds reports.

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