Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

England's poshest school Eton bans iPhones but provides iPads

Eton College (Source: Kazimierz Mendlik, Wiki Commons)

Last updated

Eton College is responsible for some of Britain's most famous politicians, and now it wants to make sure future UK technology leaders are denied iPhones.

During its 14 years in power, the UK's Conservative Party had such a strong grip on technology that it demanded Apple add security features it already had. When he was Prime Minister, Boris Johnson claimed that no country in the world had got Apple and Google's COVID app to work, while the rest of Europe carried on with their successful ones.

Johnson was educated at Eton, as were 19 other former UK prime ministers. It's a boarding school for boys — never girls — aged 13 and up, and currently costs around $21,330 per term, or $63,990 per year to attend.

Fortunately, while it might dent just how entitled an Eton graduate tends to become, their families can now save a little money. According to CBS News, first-year pupils are no longer allowed iPhones.

Strictly speaking, they aren't allowed any smartphones. But these kids are not making informed choices about whether iPhone or Android appeals to them most, they're used to just getting the most expensive available.

And now that doesn't matter, because when they arrive at Eton, the SIM cards in their iPhones will be transferred to basic Nokia phones provided by the school. UK iPhones have not yet switched to eSIMs as US ones have.

"Eton routinely reviews our mobile phone and devices policy to balance the benefits and challenges that technology brings to schools," a spokesperson said. "[Pupils] will receive a 'brick' phone for use outside the school day, as well as a school-issued iPad to support academic study."

If Eton is the stereotypical image of posh England, this policy is as British as it gets. You can't have an iPhone, it says, but we'll give you an iPad.

Hopefully those iPads are in some way locked down, but on past record, Eton could just be hoping that its students are technologically inept. Boris Johnson, for instance, famously told an inquiry he couldn't hand over crucial messages because he'd forgotten his phone's passcode.