NSW students will be banned from using mobile phones when they return for the new school year.
At the end of last year, the NSW government announced a ban that would be introduced in primary schools across the state from the start of the 2019 new year. Aimed at reducing stress, bullying and the sending of explicit images, mobile phones will now be banned in primary schools for all students.
Children At Risk
The Department of Education will guide schools through the process of implementing the ban, but it’s understood that students won’t have any access to their phone during the school day. Dr Michael Carr-Gregg who led the review into mobile phone use in schools said that they posed a risk to children. “It’s all really about kids focusing on lessons, better socialising, reducing social media use, and reducing online bullying and online image abuse,” he said. “I’m really worried about the stress a lot of these kids are already under…all schools have a duty of care to provide students with a safe environment in which to learn.” Dr Carr-Gregg also recommended that for primary aged children, parents should consider a phone without a camera or internet access.
Strategies In Place
High schools will have the option to opt in or out of the ban, but Dr Carr-Gregg believes that it should be implemented for students in Years 7-10, and those in Years 11-12 should have limited access. Rob Stokes, Member for Education, acknowledged that phones could be a distraction but said they also offer many benefits. “Sometimes mobile phones can be useful in a secondary school context where they can be used to augment learning activities,” he said. “But they can also be dangerous and be a distraction.”
We all know that mobile phones are an incredible resource for communicating with children and giving parents peace of mind, but at what point do we need these kinds of bans to stop them interfering with learning?
Do you think mobile phones should be banned in primary schools? Let us know in the comments!