The mobile phone ban is coming. So, what does this actually mean for South Australian high schools? We give you the nitty gritty details.
Gone are the days of the funny kid being the biggest distraction in the classroom. When notes under a desk were the only secret form of communication and teachers were able to witness disruptive behaviour and act accordingly. Today, the subtle art of distraction via a blue-lit screen – whether text messages from a peer or the constant scrolling of social media platforms – is all too common.
South Australian public high schools are taking steps toward creating the best possible learning environment, reducing cyberbullying and giving students an opportunity to take a break from hyperconnectivity by implementing a mobile phone ban.
This policy will be in place in all public schools by term 3, 2023, with some high schools having already made this move.
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What’s included in the ban?
The ban asks students to switch off all personal devices between the start and end of each school day. This includes mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches and any wearable technology or headphones paired to devices.
The ban also applies when attending school off-site activities, such as excursions, camps or sporting events.
This will remove the distraction of digital devices for students and allow them to focus on the work.
Principals can provide exemptions for individual students who need to access a phone at school due to extenuating circumstances, such as monitoring a medical condition.
Listen to the Hot Topics team discuss the phone bans in schools and our over reliance on mobile phones in this hilarious episode:
What will it look like in my school?
Each school will update its policy to ensure it complies with the new department policy.
Schools can choose to allow use of personal devices in certain learning circumstances or for other agreed, positive purposes. However, teachers can only allow temporary device use – by individual students or the whole class – if the school policy also allows it.
Schools can also choose where phones will be stored during school hours, and what happens if a student doesn’t follow the policy.
Students studying at multiple campuses have to follow the local policy when on-campus.
Parents and guardians can use their school’s formal channels – phone, text, app, etc – to communicate with their child during school hours, including when they need to collect their student before school finishes.
If a student becomes unwell or has an issue at school, they can talk to a teacher or staff member as a first step before their parent or caregiver is contacted.
Schools with a focus on adult education or distance learning are exempt from the ban. They can each have their own local policy, which their students must comply with.
A ban on mobile phones is already in place in all Victorian public schools, NSW public primary schools and public secondary schools in WA, Tas and NT.
NSW will introduce a ban in public high schools from Term 4.
- Mobile phone ban in all public schools from term 3, 2023
- It also covers personal devices, such as smartwatches
- There are some exemptions
- Schools can allow device use for agreed learning purposes
- Schools can choose where phones are stored
- Some other states already have a ban on phones in schools
To read more, visit the SA Education Department’s Phones off while school’s on.