South Australian public high schools ban students from using mobile phones

Cell phones to be banned from almost every school in Australia – here’s what you need to know about the new rules coming into effect next year

  • South Australia has banned mobile phones in public high schools from 2023
  • Devices must either be left at home or turned off and placed in school storage
  • The ban aims to reduce bullying and promote learning free from distraction

Cellphones are to be banned from schools next year in South Australia, which has become the latest state to require students to leave their devices at home or lock them up during the school day.

Principals at public high schools wrote to parents detailing the ban, which will begin at the beginning of the 2023 school year.

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South Australia will become the fourth state and territory in Australia to implement the ban after the Northern Territory, Victoria and Western Australia.

The mobile phone ban will extend to NSW if Labor wins the state election next year, meaning most schools across the country will have the cap restriction.

Devices must either be left at home or locked in storage during school hours, while locked lead light bags are issued to students who need access to their cell phones during class.

Students who need their phone for translation, medical reasons, or to contact their parents or guardians will be issued an exception.

The ban also applies to school activities, including camps and field trips.

South Australia has banned mobile phones from public high schools with students required to leave their devices at home or be switched off in school storage.  Students who need access to their device in class are given a lockable lead light bag (pictured)

South Australia has banned mobile phones from public high schools with students required to leave their devices at home or be switched off in school storage. Students who need access to their device in class are given a lockable lead light bag (pictured)

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Marryatville High School Principal John Tiver asked parents for feedback on the cell phone ban in a letter on November 25.

“Under admissions policy, all students must keep their cell phones and other personal devices off at school unless they receive an exemption from their school under departmental policy,” Mr Tiver said.

Mr Tiver explained that the mobile phone ban would reduce cyberbullying, prevent fights which are largely staged so they can be filmed and shared on phones, and reduce distraction during lessons.

“Breaks can be used as quality time away from screens to encourage physical activity and play and meaningful face-to-face connections with colleagues,” said Mr Tiver.

South Australian Education Minister Blair Boyer said schools would be given a transition period to apply the state restrictions requiring all year levels to switch off their phones.

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“Individual schools will continue to determine locally the most appropriate storage method for their site,” Mr Boyer said.

“Access to personal devices during school hours must be managed so that students are fully present in their learning and in their interactions with their teachers and peers.”

The push to introduce the ban - which was promised by Labor at the last state election - intensified after students used their phones to film violent fights (pictured)

The push to introduce the ban – which was promised by Labor at the last state election – intensified after students used their phones to film violent fights (pictured)

Moves to introduce the ban – promised by Labor before the last state election – intensified after widely publicized incidents involving students using phones for video games,

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