Catholic students and teachers will get a much-needed reprieve from distracting digital devices, with a ban on mobile phones during school hours coming into effect across Sydney Catholic schools. Source: The Catholic Weekly.
A long-awaited policy about the use of digital devices was released last week following 12 months of research and consultation with SCS leaders from all 147 primary and secondary schools.
The new policy requires all mobile phones be switched off, out of sight and securely stored in lockers, school bags or using a school storage solution between 9am and 3pm, bringing SCS in line with public schools across the country.
All states and territories except for the ACT have now introduced phone bans in government schools, with NSW introducing it in term four this year.
The SCS policy has been released at the same time as the United Nations has called for a global ban on phones in schools, citing clear evidence that excessive mobile phone use is linked to reduced educational performance a negative effect on children’s emotional stability.
While most SCS already have their own rules and regulations around mobile phone use, this is the first time a uniform policy has been introduced across the network to help communities navigate and manage digital distractions.
SCS Executive Director Tony Farley said the new phone policy was devised in conjunction with school leaders to create an approach to digital devices that puts high-quality learning first.
He said it sets the foundations for schools to have conversations about expectations at school with both students and parents and will be up to each individual school to implement and enforce.
Mobile phones to be banned under new Sydney Catholic Schools policy (By Debbie Cramsie, The Catholic Weekly)