Mobile Phone Policy

Purpose

To explain to our school community the Department’s and Verney Road School’s policy requirements and expectations relating to students using mobile phones and other personal mobile devices during school hours. 

Scope

This policy applies to:

  1. All students at Verney Road School and,
  2. Students’ personal mobile phones and other personal mobile device brought onto school premises during school hours, including recess and lunchtime.

Definitions

A mobile phone is a telephone with access to a cellular (telecommunication) system, with or without a physical connection to a network.  For the purpose of this policy, “mobile phone” refers to mobile phones and any device that may connect to or have a similar functionality to a mobile phone such as smart watches.

Policy

Verney Road School understands that students may bring a personal mobile phone to school, particularly if they are travelling independently to and from school.

At Verney Road School :

  • Students who choose to bring mobile phones to school must have them switched off and securely stored during school hours
  • Exceptions to this policy may be applied if certain conditions are met (see below for further information)
  • When emergencies occur, parents or carers should reach their child by calling the school’s office.

Personal mobile phone use

In accordance with the Department’s Mobile Phones Policy issued by the Minister for Education, personal mobile phones must not be used at Verney Road School during school hours, including lunchtime and recess, unless an exception has been granted.

Where a student has been granted an exception, the student must use their mobile phone for the purpose for which the exception was granted, and in a safe, ethical and responsible manner.

Secure storage

Mobile phones owned by students at Verney Road School are considered valuable items and are brought to school at the owner’s (student’s or parent/carer’s) risk.  Students are encouraged not to bring a mobile phone to school unless there is a compelling reason to do so.  Please note that Verney Road School does not have accident insurance for accidental property damage or theft. Students and their parents/carers are encouraged to obtain appropriate insurance for valuable items.  Refer to the the Department’s Personal Goods policy.

Where students bring a mobile phone to school, Verney Road School will provide secure storage. Secure storage is storage that cannot be readily accessed by those without permission to do so. At Verney Road School students are required to hand their phones to their class teacher/ES for their phones to be placed in a lockable storage.

Enforcement

Students who use their personal mobile phones inappropriately at Verney Road School may be issued with consequences consistent with our school’s existing student engagement polices: Health Safety and Wellbeing and Bullying Prevention policies.

At Verney Road School inappropriate use of mobile phones is any use during school hours, unless an exception has been granted, and particularly use of a mobile phone:

  • in any way that disrupts the learning of others
  • to send inappropriate, harassing or threatening messages or phone calls
  • to engage in inappropriate social media use including cyber bullying
  • to capture video or images of people, including students, teachers and members of the school community without their permission
  • to capture video or images in the school toilets, changing rooms, swimming pools and gyms

Exceptions

Exceptions to the policy:

  • may be applied during school hours if certain conditions are met, specifically,
    • Health and wellbeing-related exceptions; and
    • Exceptions related to managing risk when students are offsite.
  • can be granted by the principal, or by the teacher for that class, in accordance with the Department’s Mobile Phones Policy.

The three categories of exceptions allowed under the Department’s Mobile Phones Policy are:

1. Learning-related exceptions

Specific exception Documentation
For specific learning activities (class-based exception) Unit of work, learning sequence
For students for whom a reasonable adjustment to a learning program is needed because of a disability or learning difficulty Individual Learning Plan, Individual Education Plan

2. Health and wellbeing-related exceptions

Specific exception Documentation
Students with a health condition Student Health Support Plan

3. Exceptions related to managing risk when students are offsite

Specific exception Documentation
Travelling to and from excursions Risk assessment planning documentation
Students on excursions and camps Risk assessment planning documentation

Where an exception is granted, the student can only use the mobile phone for the purpose for which it was granted.

Camps, excursions and extracurricular activities

 Verney Road School will provide students and their parents and carers with information about items that can or cannot be brought to camps, excursions, special activities and events, including personal mobile phones.

Related policies and resources

Evaluation

This policy was ratified by School Council in 2019

Review Date:  2022

 School Council President

 Principal