Teens get the phone signal

SWITCHED ON: Chairo Christian School students Toby Gale, Amaya Sande and Anton Shields do not use their mobile phones during school hours.

INDEPENDENT schools will retain mixed policies on students using mobile phones during school hours, as state schools prepare to ban students from using mobiles next year.

While Chairo Christian School and Mary MacKillop College in Leongatha now prohibit students from using mobiles during school hours, Newhaven College allows students access to their phones – so long as they do so responsibly.

The State Government has adopted one of the world’s toughest stances on mobile phone use in schools in an attempt to tackle cyber bullying and distractions in the classroom.

This ban means students must turn off their phones and store them in lockers during school hours.

Chairo Christian School, Leongatha principal Anthony Collier said the school has a long-standing policy that students are not permitted to use their phones during school hours, including class times, recess and lunch.

“Students can ask their teacher for permission to use their phone for learning purposes,” he said.

“However, students found to be using their phones without permission have them confiscated.”

Mr Collier said phones are useful to students who travel by bus and need to communicate with their parents.

“This process works very well and we don’t have significant issues arising from students using their phones at school,” he said.

Mary MacKillop College, Leongatha requires students to put phones away in lockers or bags during class time.

“We currently allow students to access their phones during breaks. We have strong levels of compliance from students and on the whole our students use technology responsibly,” principal David Leslie said.

Newhaven College is putting the onus back on the students to use their phones responsibly.

Principal Gea Lovell said the college does not have a blanket ban on the use of mobile phones for all students, but enforces strict guidelines around their use.

“All students up to and including those in Year 9 must put their phones in their locker when at school,” she said.

“In years 10 to 12 they may use their phones by invitation only. Rather than banning the phone, we are encouraging responsible use of these devices.

“There is very little that we do in this day and age that does not have some form of technological intervention, and schools should be no different.”

Ms Lovell said the Senior School focuses on fostering the meaningful use of digital technologies to enhance every student’s learning.

“Over the years we have encouraged the respectful use of the mobile phone and teach our students about phone etiquette along with the dangers and addiction that can be associated with phone use,” she said.

“Our students are engaged in a technology rich education, preparing them for the technological revolution that they are all part of.”

The State Government will spend $12.4 million to deliver the resources schools need to securely store student’s phones, ahead of the ban next year. 

Schools will be able to apply for funding for storages.

In secondary schools, mobile phones are most likely to be kept in secure lockers or a secure box in the home room.

Schools will be able to apply for funding to purchase or upgrade lockers or buy new padlocks for existing lockers

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=30457

Posted by on Nov 29 2019. Filed under Community, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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