Support for Ballarat schools to roll out mobile phone ban

Government schools across Ballarat will soon be able to apply for grants to deliver the resources they need to securely store student mobile phones, ahead of the state-wide ban starting next year.

The Government announced in June that from Term 1, 2020, all students at Victorian state primary and secondary schools will be required to turn off their mobile phones and securely store phones during school hours.

The Labor Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison, said schools will be able to apply for funding for secure storage resources that work best for their school.

“We are making sure all schools in Ballarat have the secure storage facilities that suit their needs ahead of the mobile phone ban starting in Term 1 next year,” Ms Addison said.

“Banning mobile phones during school hours will not only mean students focus more on learning, it will also help kids interact more in the school yard and reduce cyber bullying,” she said.

In secondary schools, mobile phones are most likely to be kept in secure lockers, or a secure box in the home room. Schools will be able to apply for funding to purchase or upgrade lockers or buy new padlocks for existing lockers.

For schools that don’t have lockers or sufficient space, the Department of Education and Training is exploring other suitable options, including lockable pouches. Similar technology is already used interstate or overseas to store phones securely.

In addition to the $12.4 million funding, from the start of Term 4 school communities will also have access to detailed advice and resources as they prepare to introduce the mobile phone policy next year.

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