A SCHOOL has been accused of taking pupils' mobile phones and charging parents a £2 ransom to get them back.

South Wigston High School in Leicester reportedly banned phones, saying they are a tool for bullying and a distraction.

But angry parents have told how they have been made to pay up to get the phones returned to their kids.

According to Schools Week, the school could be breaking the law with the policy asking for a financial contribution to the school charity - described as an "administration charge".

One parent told the website this was the same as property being "held to ransom", and lawyers said the policy could be breaking the law.

The dad, who wanted to be known only as Andy, said parents “treated it like a tax and just felt they had to pay it”.

He said his daughter needed a phone to be safe, adding: “Pupils should be able to have a phone, switched off, in their bag, not held ransom by the school.”

The school, rated as "requires improvement" by Ofsted, said phones could be left in the school office by parent request at the start of the day.

With any phones found in school confiscated and returned only to parents - a document states: "A £2 contribution to the school’s charity will be required for return.”

The Department for Education told Schools Week schools can only charge parents for items bought from the school.

Ramona Derbyshire, a partner at Thrings law firm, added schools could confiscate phones, but were unable to “impose a charge as a disciplinary process”.

She added the school had to be clear there was no obligation to pay, as the charge is classed as a charitable contribution.

The Sun Online has approached the school for comment.

Last week we reported how kids should be banned from having mobile phones in school to help them concentrate on learning.

Schools minister Nick Gibb warned that too many young students are wearing themselves out by using the gadgets late at night.

The Tory MP said the government will bring in lessons for children to learn how to limit their screen time.

Last year Policy Exchange said headteachers should outlaw mobiles altogether or restrict their use to break times.

The think tank said nearly 8 in ten teachers had caught pupils using phones when they shouldn’t at least once a week.