The Southend Education Consortium’s chairperson Helen Aldrington has confirmed this morning that ten Southend primary and secondary schools will remain CLOSED all day today so that parents, pupils and teachers can be first in line to buy the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. 

Speaking to Southend News Network about the closures, Mrs Aldrington confirmed that the decision had been taken to avoid the ‘ugly scenes’ that occurred after the launch of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

She said: ‘When the last pair of iPhones were launched, pupil and staff absence across Southend on that Friday spiked to 45%, and we found that this was linked to the concept of FOMO – the so-called ‘Fear Of Missing Out.’

‘The pressure to have the latest Apple handsets has now led to severe psychological issues from infant classes all the way up to Sixth Form, and one primary school even had a regretful incident of bullying when a Year 3 child had his head flushed in the toilet because he came into school with something called a Lumia – we are still trying to establish what exactly that was.’

‘For today’s big iPhone launch, we have pinpointed the ten schools with the highest levels of Apple launch-related absence and closed them for a single day. Members of staff who are not purchasing the handset are welcome to come in for non-mandatory teacher training, but otherwise everyone is free to visit their nearest phone store and pick one up.’

We spoke to Southend mum Maria Firkum who has been camping outside Carphone Warehouse in Southend High Street with her two children since August 15th. Her desire to be first in line has meant that her two children Chloe (5) and Zoe (9) haven’t returned to school since the new term began. 

She said: ‘I have already come to an agreement with Southend Council where I will be liable for a fine of £100 per child. I am aware that the 128GB iPhone 7 Plus in jet black will be in very short supply, and this was the only way that I could guarantee being able to buy one for each of us and my partner who has been at work.’

‘As far as I am concerned, they can catch up with their spellings and other work in the run-up to Christmas. The ‘playground cred’ that will come with iPhone 7 Plus 128GB in Jet Black ownership will outweigh the impact on their education.’

In a survey of 2000 South Essex parents, 75% said they would be buying one of the new iPhones for their kids as Christmas gifts, with around half of these parents also saying that they would also be picking up at least one iPad to avoid arguments between siblings. 

CLOSED SCHOOLS: Hamster Infants and Juniors / Hamlet Court Primary Polish Academy / Donny Osmond Foundation Academy / Kursaal Heights Secondary School / Thorpe Bay Beach School / Southend High School For Goths / Southend High School For Emos / Southend High School For Emus / Leigh School For Narcisissts / ‘That Other School That Has Changed Its Name Since This Article Was Published As It Just Went Into Special Measures, Again’