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Queensland Government Implements Ban On Mobile Phones And Wearable Devices In State Schools

The Queensland government has announced banning mobile phones and wearable devices like smart watches in all state schools during school hours, including break time, starting from Term 1, 2024.

Education Minister Grace Grace said 95 per cent of schools already banned schools in class, but about 15 per cent of those bans didn’t extend to lunch and other breaks.

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“From term one, 2024, mobile phones will need to be ‘away for the day’ in all Queensland state schools, building on the excellent work of our principals and school leaders to date,” Ms Grace said.

“Under our existing policy, almost all our state schools have implemented some kind of ban on the use of mobile phones, and they have been fully supported to do so,” she said.

Ms Grace said due to the progression of technology and proliferation of wearable electronic devices, a review was needed. 

She said all guidelines would be up to date in consultation with school communities and parents to better implement this at a school level.

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A recent report reveals that 89 per cent of teachers believe that social media has a detrimental effect on children’s reading habits.

“We will, of course, also make sure that we educate our parents, we will give two terms so we can work on implementation guidelines so we can educate parents and students and teachers,” she added.

Students are allowed to bring phones to school for the purpose of immediate communication with parents or carers before or after school. Additionally, exemptions will be granted in certain situations, including those related to health and wellbeing.

Ms Grace said she would continue conversations with other education ministers on producing consistent guidelines across states and territories.

The government has appointed former family and child commissioner Cheryl Vardon to review the policy, awaiting her report later this month.

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