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NSW Government begins mobile phone ban in public high schools

NSW public secondary school students will be banned from using mobile phones at school from Term 4 2023, as the Minns Government delivers on an election commitment to improve students’ learning and social development.

The Government will start consultation from today with schools on options they can use to implement the ban.

Mobile phones are already banned in primary schools, and we are bringing our high schools in line with schools in South Australia, the Northern Territory, Victoria and Western Australia.

The ban on mobile phones will apply during class, recess and lunch times, as is the case in NSW public primary schools. Students will be allowed to carry their phones while travelling to and from school.

A number of high schools have already banned the use of mobile phones at school – requiring phones to be put in lockable pouches, lockers, bags or simply making students hand in their phones at the beginning of the school day.

The Premier and Deputy Premier today met with students, teachers and education leaders at Condell Park High School where a mobile phone ban has been in place for 16 years.

“I know many parents who are anxious about the pervasiveness of phones and technology in our children’s learning environments. It’s time to clear our classrooms of unnecessary distractions and create better environments for learning,” Chris Minns, NSW Premier, said.

“These bans will be applied with common sense and in consultation with the experts, to ensure it works to improve our children’s learning outcomes.”

Prue Car, NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning, said:

“A blanket ban in high schools will create a level playing field, reduce distractions in classrooms, help address cyberbullying issues and improve student learning outcomes.

“We know that parents across the state are concerned about the impact that devices like smartphones are having on their kids’ learning and mental health.

“Condell Park High School has successfully banned student mobile phones for 16 years with benefits to student learning and behaviour.”

Condell Park High School principal Susie Mobayed said:

“Students deposited their phones on trolleys at the start of the school day and picked them up at the end of the day.

“This means teachers and students are focusing on teaching and learning with no interruptions. There’s also no room for cyberbullying, social media or taking photos and videos during the school day.

“Our approach is strongly supported by our P&C and parents.”

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