You’re no doubt aware of the state government’s announcement of a ban on students using mobile phones at all public schools from the start of Term 1, 2020. We have cautiously supported the ban, which reflects existing arrangements in some schools.
Given this ban is likely to have an impact on teacher workload, it is disappointing that the government made no real attempt at consultation before announcing the ban. We have called on the government to consult properly with schools about how the new arrangements will be put in place, ensuring they have the resources and support to implement the ban, including facilities to store phones during the school day and the development of communications to students and parents. We will monitor any impacts of the decision on member workload.
We have also called on the government to engage in a broader conversation about how we can better tackle the issues of online bullying and student safety, including the use and misuse of devices other than phones.
Teachers have supported students to make good choices about using devices, including in regards to their behaviour and safety. Part of preparing students for their lives beyond school means making sure they have knowledge and skills to use technology appropriately – which can be achieved without students using mobile phones during the school day.
The government will evaluate the ban after 12 months, and we are calling for this evaluation to involve detailed feedback and consultation with the profession.