Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery today announced a new ‘off and away all day’ policy to ban students from using mobile phones during school hours in all public schools.
Following consultation with schools which already have guidelines in place about the use of mobile phones, the WA Government is rolling out a policy for all public schools to implement a ban on the use of phones and other devices for students.
From 2020, all public schools will implement a ban on the use of mobile phones for students from the time they arrive at school until the end of the school day – including before school and at break times.
The ban restricts the use of mobile phones, smart watches, earbuds, tablets and headphones unless students are under the instruction of a staff member.
Students from kindergarten to Year 6 will not be permitted to have mobile phones in their possession during the school day.
Students from Years 7 to 12, must have their phones turned off during school hours and kept off and out of sight until the end of the school day. Additionally, under the new policy, smart watches must be set to airplane mode.
Exemptions to the policy will be made for students with special circumstances. These instances are where a student needs to monitor a health condition; when under the direct instruction of a teacher for educational purposes or with teacher permission for a specified purpose.
Parents will be contacted with information on the policy, including an instruction to contact their school’s administration, should they need to get in touch with their child during school hours.
Today’s announcement was made at Ocean Reef Senior High School which has had its own ‘off and away all day’ mobile phone and digital device policy for all students since the start of 2018.