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Mobile phones to be banned in all public schools
A STATE-wide policy to ban students in all public schools from using mobile phones during school hours was announced this morning.
Premier Mark McGowan and Education Minister Sue Ellery were at Ocean Reef Senior High School to introduce the ‘off and away all day’ policy that will ban the use of phones and other devices such as smart watches, earbuds, tablets and headphones for students from next year.
Ocean Reef has had its own mobile phone and digital device policy in place since the start of 2018.
Following consultation with schools that already have successful guidelines in place, the ban will start from the time students arrive at school until the end of the school day and include all break times.
Students from kindergarten to Year 6 will not be permitted to have mobile phones in their possession during the school day, while students from Years 7 to 12 must have their phones turned off and kept out of sight.
Smart watches must be set to airplane mode.
Exemptions to the policy will be made for students with special circumstances such as medical conditions or when directed by a teacher.
Parents will be contacted with information on the policy, including how to contact their school’s administration if they need to get in touch with their child during school hours.
Mr McGowan said the policy would allow students to focus on their school work, without the distraction of a mobile phone.
“The policy will improve the health and wellbeing of students by encouraging children to connect socially in class and in the school yard,” he said.