Eton pupils must trade in their iPhones for Nokia mobile phones

New students at Eton – the UK’s most famous private boarding school, whose alumni include many of the country’s prime ministers – are being told they must leave their iPhones at home for the entire school year.

Their SIM card will be transferred to a Nokia mobile phone, which is only good for making phone calls and sending text messages (and, I guess, for operating Snake)…


Confusingly for Americans, private schools in the UK are known as public schools. That’s because they were once a cheaper alternative to home tutors. Eton, more formally known as Eton College, is the most famous of these.

It is a boarding school, meaning students live there 24/7 during the school year, and tuition is more than $60,000 per year.

Students must trade in their iPhones for Nokia phones

Amid growing concerns that smartphones could distract students from studying, Eton previously required students to hand in their phones at the end of each school day.

However, CBS News reports that this year’s students have been told to leave their iPhones at home (safely, iPhones, since no Eton students will have an Android phone…).

Parents of first-year students at Eton have been informed of the changes in a letter which says new 13-year-olds should take their smartphones home after their SIM cards are transferred to offline Nokia phones provided by the school.

The policy comes into effect at the start of the next term in September. Older students will still be subject to the previous rules, including a ban on having phones in the evenings.

Part of the growing repression

The decision is another example of schools trying to address the problem of students spending more time on their phones than studying.

Photo: Alwye/Wikimedia/CC4.0 (cropped)

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