Mobile phones to be banned at nearly every school in Australia – here’s what you need to know about the new rules that come into force next year
- South Australia has banned mobile phones in public high schools from 2023
- Devices must be either left at home or powered off and placed in school storage
- The ban aims to reduce bullying and promote learning free from distraction
Mobile phones are to be banned in schools from next year in South Australia, which has become the latest state to require students to leave their devices at home or have them locked away through the school day.
Principals at public secondary schools have written to parents detailing the ban, which will commence at the start of the 2023 school year.
South Australia will become the fourth state and territory in Australia to implement the ban following the Northern Territory, Victoria and Western Australia.
The mobile phone ban will extend to NSW if Labor wins the state election next year, meaning most schools across the country will have the blanket restriction.
Devices must either be left at home or locked in storage during school hours, while lockable lead-lined pouches will be issued to students who need access to their mobile phones during class.
Those students who need their phone for translation, medical reasons, or to contact their parents or caregivers will be issued with an exemption.
The ban also applies to school activities, including camps and excursions.
South Australia has banned mobile phones from public secondary schools with students required to leave their devices at home or powered-off in school storage. Students needing access to their device in class will be provided with a lockable lead-lined pouch (pictured)
Marryatville High School principal John Tiver asked parents for feedback on the mobile phone ban in a letter on November 25.
‘Under the incoming policy, all students must keep their mobile phones and other personal devices off and away at school, unless granted an exemption by their school under the department’s policy,’ Mr Tiver said.
Mr Tiver explained the mobile phone ban would reduce cyber-bullying, prevent fights that are largely staged so they can be filmed and shared on phones, and reduce distraction during lessons.
‘Breaks can be used as quality time away from screens, encouraging physical activity and play and meaningful face-to-face connections with peers,’ Mr Tiver said.
South Australian Education Minister Blair Boyer said schools will be given a transition period to apply the statewide restrictions, which require all year levels to power off their phones.
‘Individual schools will continue to locally determine the most appropriate storage method for their site,’ Mr Boyer said.
‘Access to personal devices during school hours must be managed so that students can be fully present in their learning and in their interactions with their teachers and peers.’
The push to introduce the ban – which was promised by Labor in the last state election – intensified after students used their phones to film violent fights (pictured)
Moves to introduce the ban – promised by Labor before the last state election — intensified in the wake of widely-publicised incidents involving students using phones to video fights,