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Last Updated: Monday, 17 September 2007, 17:41 GMT 18:41 UK
More wi-fi rules for schools call
Wireless broadband (library photo)
Wi-fi allows users to log onto the internet without a cable connection
A council has called for more guidance over the use of wireless broadband in schools.

Wi-fi allows cable-free web access, but there is controversy about its possible effects on health.

The Health Protection Agency said emissions were within safety guidelines, but Carmarthenshire Council said more advice was needed.

One school in the county has already removed its wi-fi connections, leaving nine others using the technology.

Carmarthenshire Council's executive board has agreed to draw up a code of practice for schools using wi-fi, but said more information was needed.

Executive board member for education Ieuan Jones said: "We are going to monitor the situation as closely as we can because we all have these concerns.

"The dangers of these wi-fi connections are possibly along the lines of using hand-held mobile phones."

The Professional Association of Teachers has previously asked for an inquiry into safety concerns surrounding wi-fi, while the Association of School and College Leaders has also called for clarification.

But Schools Minister Kevin Brennan has said: "The welfare and safety of children and staff in school is absolutely paramount - which is why we have already addressed concerns covering wireless computer networks and asbestos.

"The Health Protection Agency has consistently advised that it does not consider there to be a problem with the safety of wi-fi."

Former teacher Judith Davies, whose daughter attends Ysgol Pantycelyn in Carmarthenshire, has been leading a campaign in the county for strict conditions on the use of wi-fi.

She said: "I had hoped that there would be a moratorium but I'm glad that there will be a code of practice."

She said this should include insisting children should not put laptops on their laps.

"I think it is very important that the transmitters are positioned as far away from the children as possible and at the lowest that is needed.

"It is very important that parents are informed if wi-fi is in their school."


SEE ALSO
Pupils 'are wi-fi guinea pigs'
01 Aug 07 |  Education
Schools want urgent wi-fi advice
21 May 07 |  Education
Wi-fi health fears are 'unproven'
21 May 07 |  Technology
Q&A: Wi-fi health concerns
21 May 07 |  Technology

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