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NSW is banning children from having mobile phones at public schools

Charisa Bossinakis

Published 
| Last updated 

NSW is banning children from having mobile phones at public schools

NSW public high school classrooms will ban mobile phones in late 2023.

The NSW Government will implement the ban from October 9 when children return for their final term of the year.

Newly minted Premier Chris Minns said the move will help ‘clear our classrooms of unnecessary distractions’, as per The Daily Telegraph.

“I know many parents who are anxious about the pervasiveness of phones and technology in our children’s learning environments,” he said.

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“It’s time to clear our classrooms of unnecessary distractions and create better environments for learning.”

Credit: bdavid32 / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: bdavid32 / Alamy Stock Photo

He said the government would look at lockable pouches and lockers to ensure devices are out of reach during class time.

"There are low-cost and no-cost options that are available to them," Mr Minns said.

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"It may be as simple as making sure mobile phones are in a student's bag and can't be taken out during the school day."

He added that other countries have shown children benefit from a no-phones policy.

"In the UK the benefits were felt the highest among the students with the lowest scores," he said.

"They received double the increase in scores that the average students in their cohort were able to achieve."

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Several schools have already implemented a limited screen time policy on campus, including Sydney’s Condell Park High School, as per 9News.

The school's principal, Susie Mobayed, revealed students must hand over their phones to a trolley at the start of the day.

She added: "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.

Credit: Lbeddoe / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Lbeddoe / Alamy Stock Photo
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"Our approach is strongly supported by our P&C and parents."

South Australia has also implemented a phone ban in public high school classrooms.

Premier Peter Malinauskas said there had been ‘overwhelmingly positive’ results.

"Our experience in South Australia is that there is no harm done as the result of a young person not touching their phone from the beginning to the end," he said, as per the outlet.

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However, researcher in Digital Literacy and Digital Wellbeing at Western Sydney University Joanne Orlando said banning technology doesn’t revolve long term issues.

Instead, children need to be taught how to use it responsibly.

In a piece for The Conversation, she referenced a 2020 Swedish study where a mobile phone ban did not impact student grades.

She added: “This is no longer a ‘screentime’ conversation. We need new knowledge and new education strategies if children are to thrive online post-COVID and beyond.”

Featured Image Credit: Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo. Astrakan Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: News, Technology, Education, Australia, Politics

Charisa Bossinakis
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