Proposed mobile phone ban

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The State School Teachers Union is seeking assurances schools will be properly resourced to enforce the State Government’s ban on students using mobile devices in schools.

The SSTUWA is broadly supportive of policies that manage the use of mobile devices during school time; indeed many schools already have effective policies in place.

The union is, however, concerned that, at a time when teachers are already warning that red tape and administrative demands are taking them away from their core role, this will be yet another impost on teaching time and school budgets as schools devise ways of collection and secure storage of phones during the day.

There is also a concern from principals and teachers that a blanket ban will be a potential point of conflict between school staff and parents, as well as staff and students.

We will be seeking assurances from the Minister and the department that what has the potential to be a useful initiative gets the resources it requires, as is the case in Victoria where a similar ban will be introduced in 2020.

It also needs to be made clear that the responsibility for kindergarten to Year 6 pupils not having mobile phones in their possession needs to fall to parents, not to teachers.