A new UK Mobile Phone operator has introduced ‘SchoolBlock’ – a simple single setting that will block all non-essential calls, texts and mobile data to or from their subscribers’ children’s mobile phones during school hours.
The new SchoolBlock facility has been developed in response to increasing numbers of requests by teachers increasingly troubled by the disruption of classes and attention caused by mobile phones and from requests by users wanting to apply blocks of multiple time periods to allow phone usage before and after school, but not after bedtime.
ParentShield is a new network from Derbyshire based Engine Mobile Ltd. The new network is designed to be used by children or other users with special safeguarding needs by providing advanced features for that market that would not be provided by a ‘normal’ mobile network. Because all the features are provided network-side the service is completely independent of the mobile phone hardware or software platform, opening the market to the widest possible audience.
SchoolBlock time control works in series with ParentShield’s other time controls that also allow parents to set bedtime controls for their children’s mobile phones and other advanced whitelisting and blacklisting controls. In the most restrictive mode the phone can be set in a closed network allowing it to call, or be called by specified numbers only.
As with all of ParentShield’s blocking and control facilities, calls and SMS to and from the two special ‘Home Numbers’ are always available regardless of settings so if the phone user needs to contact home in an emergency, that is not a problem.
The ParentShield service, available with various bundle options, is a pay-monthly SIM-only service. The Engine Mobile SIM card is inserted in any mobile phone and it’s instantly protected. The network offers full true UK roaming, connecting to the strongest signal from any of the major UK networks. This means it also provides the best mobile network coverage available in even remote areas of the country.
Because the Network provides advanced safeguarding monitoring facilities including call and SMS recording, it is not suitable for adult use. Typical users without special needs are children 7-12 years of age.
Engine Mobile is a market-leading developer of call centre and communication marketing technology. Their ParentShield division has been designing and manufacturing bespoke telephony solutions since 2000.