THE NEW MOBILE PHONE POLICY

On 26 June 2019, the Minister for Education, the Hon. James Merlino MP, announced a new mobilephone policy for every government school in Victoria.  

The new mobile phone policy requires that students who choose to bring mobiles phones to school must have them switched off and securely put away during school hours i.e. 8.55am to 3.15pm.

Managing the impact of mobile phones

Mobile phones often create disruptions and distractions in classrooms. Establishing a ‘mobile phone free zone’ helps teachers to establish and maintain a focused and productive teaching and learning environment. 

Research has found that mobile phones can be disruptive in classrooms and open to misuse at school (e.g. accessing inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and unauthorised photography). Additionally, research shows that the unregulated presence of mobile phones in classrooms can undermine students’ capacity to think, learn, remember, pay attention and regulate emotion. A summary of recent, relevant research is available on the Department of Education and Training’s website.

At recess and lunchtime our school also values the opportunity for students to communicate with each other face-to-face or be involved in activities rather than being focused on a device, particularly when using the device to engage with social media.

Emergency situations

In the event of an emergency or if you need to contact your child, we ask that families contact the staff in the school office who will pass on a message as needed. The school acknowledges that this new policy may require some adjustments. As such, we ask for the support of all our families, staff and students in its implementation.

HOW THIS WILL WORK AT KOO WEE RUP SECONDARY COLLEGE

1.       The new policy will apply from Monday November 25th – the first day of rollover when we start the 2020 curriculum.

2.       Students can bring a phone to school to help them with travel arrangements before and after school.

3.       By 8.55am ALL mobile phones must be stored in the students’ lockers. They must stay there until the end of the school day. This includes recess and lunchtime.

4.       Students who go down the street at lunchtime e.g. Year 12s, are not allowed to take their phones with them.

5.       It is a student’s responsibility to ensure that he/she has a secure lock on his/her locker so that the phone is stored safely.

6.       If a teacher wants students to use a phone in class, the teacher will arrange for the students to collect their phones from their locker for the lesson and then return the phones to the lockers.

7.       If a student has been using a phone for classwork instead of using an iPad or a laptop, the student will now need to make sure that he/she brings an iPad or laptop to class as required.

8.       Families should contact the school office should you need to pass on an urgent message to your children.

9.       If students need to urgently contact home they should see their coordinator and they will be allowed to use a school phone.

10.   There will be a few students who need to have their phones with them throughout the day for health reasons. Such students should see Miss McGinley for an exemption.

11.   THERE WILL BE CONSEQUENCES FOR STUDENTS IF THEY DO NOT FOLLOW THE POLICY. 

·         The first time a student is caught with a phone they will be asked to hand it into the General Office and they can collect it again at the end of the day. A message will be sent to parents letting them know the student breached the policy and what will happen the next time.

·         Every other time a student is caught with a phone, they will be asked to hand it into the General Office and it will be kept there until a parent comes to collect it. A message will be sent to parents to let them know that the phone is awaiting collection.

·         If students refuse to hand in their phones and/or are rude and defiant, they will face the normal consequences for such behaviour which range from afterschool detention to suspension.

12.   The College has been preparing the students for the new policy over the past few weeks by explaining the reasons for it and encouraging students to participate in discussions with their teachers. It is important that the students understand why this is happening.

13.   Parent support is essential. Apart from checking that your child does have a lock for his/her locker and an iPad/laptop for class use, could you also ensure that all communication with your child by phone is before 8.55am and after 3.15pm.