Other countries have taken a far more responsible approach than the UK to the issue of safeguarding their young citizens from excessive exposure to school WiFi, notably France, Cyprus and Turkey.
SSITA takes note of schools in the UK that prefer to keep to a wired system and to use i-pads that can be used with a wired system. From feedback from parents, we note the schools that recently seem to have reduced their children’s exposure time to WiFi or wireless enabled devices.
When choosing a school for your child, please check with the school first as to whether or not they are using Wi-Fi or intend to install it. When considering a school with a “half-way” solution, please make full enquiries as to the length of exposure time your child will be subjected to.
By parental request, we issue advice to parents as to what questions to ask, what to look for, and guidance on how to reduce their child’s exposure in general. We also look at parental rights in this matter and monitor the way in which individual schools take note of parents’ concerns and rights. We take note of feedback from parents as to how sensitively an individual school is dealing with requests to remove a child from wireless exposure and whether a child has suffered/ is suffering discriminatory remarks from a teacher or Headteacher which lead to that child being victimised within the school situation either from staff or fellow pupils, or from both.
From 2008 a new website appeared providing a rational and well supported scientific argument for the validity in precaution of the use of Wi-Fi in primary and secondary schools. Wi-fi in Schools is a prominent and authoritiative member of SSITA.
Please note that SSITA no longer keeps a list of schools that have either removed Wi-Fi or reduced it, due to the difficulties of monitoring such changes. However, we do note the schools, both state and independent, where parents have reported to us the readings they have found in their children’s classrooms.
We have been particularly concerned about the readings forwarded to us from parents with children in independent schools, who report their concern about the readings from Wi-Fi routers in study bedrooms.
We note the schools where parents have engaged unsuccessfully with the Head and Board of Governors, note the quality of the evidence that the parents have provided, (often of a very high standard indeed), the attitude of the said school and in particluar those schools from which these parents have then regretfully felt obliged to remove their children, who then lose overnight their statutory right to a state education or where a fee-paying parent with a child in an independent schools has been obliged to do the same.
We note the schools which have attempted to provide “reasonable adjustment” both for teachers and for children experiencing symptoms from the school WiFi. We are aware of tribunals concerning both teachers and children… and the outcome of those tribunals.
Some years ago we were alerted to schools who were attempting to introduce the use of mobile phones into the curriculum, only for them to learn from us, with great concern, that such a practice would be against the advice of the UK Medical Officers of Health – that children under the age of 16 should use mobile phones for essential calls only. Naturally, such schools wanted to know why they themselves had not been told this. This also applies to their shock and disbelief to learn that WiFi is classed as a Class 2b Carcinogen. Head Teachers and Deputy-Headteachers want to know why they have not been given these facts, either before installing WiFi in the first place, or before upgrading it without full knowledge of the health risks invovled from cumulative exposures.
We draw attention to a website designed to help schools in the decisions they are required to make and which may assist them in assessing their own liabilities: