The use of mobile phones and technology in schools has sparked intense debates internationally, including in Australia. To address this issue, most states and territories in Australia have implemented full bans on mobile phones during class, recess, and lunch times, while still allowing students to carry their phones during travel to and from school.
Numerous studies have shown the positive impacts of mobile phone bans in schools. For instance, a study conducted in 2016 found that banning mobile phones led to a remarkable increase in student performance, with test scores improving by 6.4% of a standard deviation. Similar studies from Spain and Norway also supported these findings, highlighting the benefits of reduced distractions.
For parents concerned about mobile phone separation anxiety in their children, it is essential to recognise it as a real issue and discuss the potential negative effects of phone addiction, such as sleep problems and mental health issues. Gradually introducing phone-free periods at home, setting clear expectations and boundaries, and modelling healthy behaviours can help your children cope. Establishing a support network and seeking professional help if needed is crucial in providing the necessary guidance and assistance.
To align with our commitment to better focus on teaching and learning, we have updated our use of mobile phone guidelines, which can be found here. While we understand that students may need access to messages from parents, their place of work, or regarding external appointments, we hope that parents will support these guidelines by engaging in discussions with their child and encouraging phone-free time at home, particularly during overnight hours.
Furthermore, we have prepared a Special Report addressing mobile phone separation anxiety and offering guidance on supporting students' wellbeing. We encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the information provided, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If you have any concerns or need assistance related to your children's wellbeing, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Let us work together to ensure a balanced approach to mobile phone usage, promoting a healthy and focused learning environment for all students.