It is expected that a school will tell its pupils what to do. After all, it is the role of a teacher to educate a child and prepare them for adult life.
Less expected, however, is that the parents should be given instructions on how to behave.
But that is what has happened at a primary school in north-east England.
Parents of children at St Joseph's RC Primary School in Longlands, Middlesbrough are now being told to “greet your child with a smile not a mobile.”
The signs have been placed at three entrances to the school in the hope of making parents think twice about mindlessly scrolling through their social media newsfeeds whilst waiting to pick up their child.
According to head-teacher Elizabeth King, the decision to erect the signs was not in fact to tackle any existing problem, but rather just to encourage families to talk to one another at the end of the day.
“We are always looking at ways to engage parents and we've got the signs at each entrance and at the foundation entrance,” King explained.
“They are simple, but they carry a really important message. We are trying to develop our speaking and listening in school and we thought it was a really simple way to get the message across.
“It wasn't an issue among our parents, it just emphasises that speaking and listening helps the children to have discussions.”
The most expensive schools in the world
The most expensive schools in the world
1/10 La Rosey, Switzerland
This prestigious Swiss boarding school is believed to be the most expensive in the world. Le Rosey hosts pupils from seven to 18 and has been co-educational since 1967. The school takes in pupils from more than 60 countries, but allows no more than 10 per cent of its students to come from any one country in order to prevent a single nationality dominating. The school has two campuses – winter is spent in Gstaad, where pupils can make use of the ski slopes after their morning lessons. Come spring, the whole school will uproot to the Chataeau du Rosey in the village of Rolle by Lake Geneva. Le Rosey also boats a 1,000 seat concert hall, equestrian centre and 38-foot yacht. Notable alumni: Shah of Iran, Prince Rainier of Monaco and King Farouk of Egypt. Sir Roger Moore and Elizabeth Taylor also send their children here, along with John Lennon’s son Sean and Winston Churchill’s grandson. Fees: approx. £86,657 pa
2/10 Aiglon College, Switzerland
With a view of Mont Blanc, this high altitude school lends itself to outdoor pursuits. The school caters for boys and girls aged nine to 18 and is modelled on the traditional British Boarding school. Unlike most schools, however, the whole school body comes together for 20 minutes of meditation on three mornings each week. Notable alumni: Actor Michel Gill, Princess Tatiana of Greece and Denmark, Sheherazade Goldsmith Fees: up to £80,810 per year (upper school boarding)
3/10 Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil
Founded in 1910, Beau Soleil is one of the oldest private boarding schools in Switzerland. It is positioned 1,350 metres above sea level on the Swiss Alps and hosts pupils from more than 40 different nationalities aged 11-18. The curriculum is taught in both French and English and focuses on outdoor sports, with a ski slope and ice skating rink on site. Notable alumni: Racing driver Jacques Villeneuve, Princess Marie of Denmark, Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg Fees: £79,528
Collège Alpin International Beau Soleil
4/10 Collège du Léman International School, Switzerland
Taking in children from as young as one year old, College du Leman teaches a bilingual programme of French and English up to age 18. The school campus stretches out across eight hectares and offers access to both Geneva city and the mountains. Pupils from more than 100 nationalities attend. Noteable alumni: Anna Ovcharova, Swiss, Russian figure skater Fees: £68,960 pa
5/10 Leysin American School, Switzerland
Another high-profile Swiss school, popular for its exclusive ski and snowboard facilities. LAS Students are allowed to spend Tuesday and Thursday afternoons on the mountain for sports. Despite its name, around 12 per cent of students are from the US. Notable alumni: According to Bloomberg, alumni include members of Saudi Arabia’s royal family, the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. Fees: Approx £66,700 per year
Leysin American School
6/10 Institut auf dem Rosenberg
7/10 Think Global School
The world’s first “travelling high school” takes pupils to four different countries each year – allowing pupils to experience subjects out in the field. The school has one teacher for every three students and has a 100 per cent pass rate for the International Baccalaureate qualification. Notable alumni: The school is only seven years old, but will no doubt become a popular choice with the next generation of rock stars’ children. Fees: £63,980. Sliding-scale scholarships offered.
8/10 The American school in Switzerland (TASIS)
The first US boarding school to be set up in Europe, TASIS lies on the Dollina d’Oro in the Swiss mountains. Fine art is central to the school curriculum and TASIS hosts its own Spring Arts Festival which attracts a number of famous artists and musicians each year. Notable alumni: American mountain climber Francys Arsentiev, Performer Jeanie Cunningham and Italian-American film director Francesca Gregorini Fees: £63,561 pa
9/10 Brillantmont, Switzerland
A family-run, traditional Swiss school for 130 years, Brillantmont overlooks Lake Geneva and sits just a five-minute walk away from Lausanne. Brillantmont boasts that 100 per cent of its students continue their studies to higher education. Notable alumni: kept suspiciously on the down-low Fees: £52,010 - £59,680 pa
10/10 Hurtwood house, Surrey
Hurtwood house, surrey Several of the best UK boarding schools top their fees around this mark. Set in an Edwardian mansion with 200 acres of grounds, Hurtwood House is one of the most unique. The school hosts just 340 pupils and is known for its focus on creativity and the arts – a recent school production of Chicago cost £75,000 to stage, according to Tatler. Notable alumni: Emily Blunt, Jack Huston, Hans Zimmer Fees: £39,555 pa
However rather than feel patronised and angry at being told how to parent their children, mums and dads have largely welcomed the signs.
“I think they need to be up because everyone picks their kids up on their phones. I’d like to think they’d make a difference,” said mother Danielle Parker.
“I think it’s great. It’s about time,” said Claire Wilks, whose child is in the school’s nursery.
Another parent Danielle Savage was also on board with the initiative: “I agree with it, it’s a good thing.
“But it only works if you’re having discussions all the time at home, not just when you’re collecting your child. That’s when it will make a difference.”
Not everyone has responded positively to the signs though, with one parent calling them “a bit daft.”
An anonymous parent of a year two pupil added: “I don’t see the point in the signs, I don’t think that many people use their phones anyway.”
As for the pupils themselves, it’s likely the majority will be fans.
“Why would kids want to see you on your mobile phones all the time?” asked pupil Lindan Bradley.