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NSW high school students given date for mobile phone ban




A mobile phone ban will be enforced in every NSW public high school from term four.

The ban - a Minns government election promise - would bring NSW high schools into line with public primary schools as well as schools in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.

The education department will begin consulting with schools from Monday on options available to enforce the ban.

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One option is having students deposit phones on trolleys at the start of each school day and picking them up after the final bell rings, as is the case at Condell Park High School in Sydney’s southwest.

“This means teachers and students are focusing on teaching and learning with no interruptions,” principal Susie Mobayed said in a statement.

“There’s also no room for cyberbullying, social media or taking photos and videos during the school day.”

Other schools use lockable pouches, lockers, bags or simply make the students hand in their phones at the beginning of the school day, the government said.

“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,” Education Minister Prue Car 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 has successfully banned student mobile phones for 16 years with benefits to student learning and behaviour.”

Premier Chris Minns said the bans would be applied with “common sense” and in consultation with experts, to ensure it works to improve children’s learning outcomes.