The NSW government has banned mobile phones in primary schools to check online bullying, inappropriate sharing of explicit images among students and predatory behaviour from strangers.
High schools, however, have been given the choice to either ban or introduce measures to more tightly restrict the use of devices during school hours.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the new measures are in response to an expert review which shows rising cases of online bullying.
“Distraction and bullying have always been issues for schools to deal with but mobile phones present a new challenge for schools, teachers, parents and students,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We want to ensure mobile phones and other smart devices complement students’ learning, and are handled at school in an age-appropriate way.”
“These changes will provide clear boundaries in our schools to ensure technology remains an enabler, not a detractor.”
NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said the expert review stopped short of recommending a ban on smart devices in high schools, but offered several approaches that schools could adopt based on their circumstances.
“We’ll work with schools to implement the changes recommended in the report, helping them manage the risks and rewards of using mobile phones inside the school gates,” Mr Stokes said.