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Removing a known classroom menace


Removing a known classroom menace

The Queensland Education Minister has announced a state-wide ban in public schools, set to start next year.

Queensland state school students will be banned from using mobile phones and smartwatches when classes begin next year.

Education Minister Grace Grace says the move builds on previous policy under which almost all state schools had imposed some kind of mobile phone ban.

“This state-wide ban will provide uniformity, extend bans to break times, and include certain wearable devices like smartwatches,” she says.

Ms Grace says more than 95 per cent of schools have a clear policy banning phone use during class, with the remaining schools restricting
usage informally.

Following the implementation of recommendations from the Anti-Cyberbullying 2018 Taskforce, all state schools have been required to outline how they manage mobile phones.

That includes in the context of cyberbullying and distractions in
the classroom.

The Queensland government is appointing former family and child commissioner Cheryl Vardon to review the current policy, with her report due later this month.

But she has already advised one of the core recommendations is to implement state-wide restrictions on access to mobile phones and certain other devices during school hours. Implementation will depend on the school.

For example, a small school in the outback may require students to hand phones in to a nominated staff member, while a school with thousands of students may choose to use lockable pouches.

Ms Grace says she will continue talks with other education ministers on producing consistent guidelines across states and territories.

Students will still be able to bring phones to school, so that they can contact parents or carers immediately before or after school.

Exemptions also will be available in specific circumstances, including for health and wellbeing.         – AAP.

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