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Hunter students banned from mobile phone use at school

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Hunter public secondary school students will be banned from using mobile phones at educational facilities from October.

Delivering on an election commitment, the NSW Government is set to start consultation, from Monday 3 April, on options they can use to implement the ban. 

It’s not expected to come into effect until Term 4.

Mobile phones are already banned in primary, with the latest decision bringing NSW high schools in line with South Australia, the Northern Territory, Victoria and Western Australia. 

The ban will apply during class, recess and lunch times, as is the case in the state’s public primary domain.

However, students will be allowed to carry their phones while travelling to and from school. 

A number of facilities have already banned the use of mobile phones at school – requiring phones to be put in lockable pouches, lockers, bags or simply making pupils hand them in at the beginning of the school day.  

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

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

“These bans will be applied with common sense and in consultation with the experts, to ensure it works to improve our children’s learning outcomes.”

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car supported the move.

“A blanket ban in high schools will create a level playing field, reduce distractions in classrooms, help address cyberbullying issues and improve student learning outcomes,” she said.

“We know that parents across the state are concerned about the impact that devices like smartphones are having on their kids’ learning and mental health. 

“Condell Park High School, for example, has successfully banned student mobile phones for 16 years with benefits to student learning and behaviour.” 

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