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  • Smart Device Use Policy
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1. Purpose

Princes Hill Secondary College takes the safe and responsible use of digital technologies, student safety and wellbeing, and the development of social skills and positive behaviour, very seriously. The school acknowledges that we live in a technology-rich world where mobile phones are an important communication tool. Research has found that mobile phones can be disruptive in classrooms and open to misuse at school. The unregulated presence of mobile phones in classrooms can undermine students’ capacity to think, learn, remember, pay attention and regulate emotion.  

There are ways smart devices (iPods, tablets, laptops, wearable devices etc.) may be used at school to assist learning and personal organisation including for educational, health and wellbeing purposes. This policy is intended to enable the regulated use by students of such smart devices in ways that promote learning and student safety, minimise classroom disruption and facilitate opportunities for students to communicate with each other face-to-face, or be involved in physical activity rather than being focused on a smart device, particularly when they are using it to engage with social media.

2. Policy Statement

This policy applies to:

  • All students at Princes Hill Secondary College, including students from other schools enrolled in courses at Princes Hill Secondary College,
  • Students’ personal mobile phones (and other personal smart devices such as electronic communication, smart, wearable devices brought onto school premises during school hours, including recess and lunchtime.
  • iPads and tablets and wearable devices (all notifications on these devices must be turned off).

It is the clear policy of Princes Hill Secondary College that students not bring mobile phones to school unless there is a school approved, compelling reason to do so.

Mobile phones owned by students at Princes Hill Secondary College are considered valuable items and if brought to school it is at the owner’s risk. If students do bring such devices to school, Princes Hill Secondary College accepts no liability for loss or damage and students should always store them in a secure place. At Princes Hill Secondary College students are required to store their phones in their locker.

This policy aims to ensure mobile phones and other devices do not disrupt the learning environment or detrimentally affect the safety of students and staff.

At Princes Hill Secondary College:

  • 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.

3. Implementation

Personal Mobile Phone Use

In accordance with the Department’s Students Using Mobile Phones Policy issued by the Minister for Education, personal mobile phones must not be used at Princes Hill Secondary College 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 only the purpose for which the exception was granted, and in a safe, ethical and responsible manner.

Please note that Princes Hill Secondary College 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.

Consequences

Students who use their personal mobile phones inappropriately at Princes Hill Secondary College may be issued with consequences consistent with those outlined below or contained within the Bullying Prevention Policy.

At Princes Hill Secondary College it is not permitted to use smart devices during school hours, unless an exception has been granted as outlined below.

The following consequences will apply for students who breach this policy:

  • In the first instance, staff will require the student to lock the phone (or other device covered by this policy) in their locker and the staff member will record this on Compass Chronicle.
  • In the second instance staff will ask the student to hand in the phone to the Administration Office who will securely store the phone and record the details on Compass Chronicle. The mobile phone can be collected from the school office at the end of the school day. Additionally, students will be required to attend a community service session.
  • After a third instance, for a period of 5 days, the student will be required to give the mobile phone to the Administration Office when entering the school and collect it again at the end of the school day.
  • For subsequent breaches, the Sub School Leader (SSL) will hold a meeting with the student and parents/carers. Further measures will be arranged in relation to encouraging the student to comply with college rules and policy.

Appropriate disciplinary action consistent with the college Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy or VCAA rules will be taken against any student who:

  • Photographs, films or records other individuals without their consent or who makes or sends harassing or threatening messages or calls.
  • Uses a mobile phone or other device to cheat in exams or assessments.

Exceptions

Exceptions to the policy may only be granted by a principal if certain conditions are met and can only be granted by a principal in accordance with the Department’s Students Using Mobile Phones PolicyThere are three categories of exceptions.

 Click here to see three exception categories
  1. Learning Related Exceptions

Specific ExceptionSuggested 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 and/or learning difficulty.Individual Learning Plan, Individual Education Plan​.

      2. Health and Wellbeing Related Exceptions

Specific ExceptionSuggested Documentation
Students with a health condition.Student Health Support Plan.
Students who are Young Carers.A localised student record.

      3. Exceptions Related to Managing Risks When Students are Offsite

Specific ExceptionSuggested Documentation
Travelling to and from excursions.Risk assessment planning documentation.
Students on excursions and camps.Risk assessment planning documentation.
When students are offsite (not on school grounds) and unsupervised with parental permission.Risk assessment planning documentation.
Students with a dual enrolment or who need to undertake intercampus travel.Risk assessment planning documentation.

Exceptions are documented here for Learning Related and Health and Wellbeing Related Exceptions (staff access only), and in individual Compass Events for offsite activities where applicable.

Exclusions

This policy does not apply in certain circumstances and for particular items.

 Click here to see circumstances when the mobile phone policy does not apply
DescriptionRationale
Out-of-school-hours events.Policy not applicable, as attendance falls outside of school hours.
Travelling to and from school.Policy is not applicable when travel falls outside of school hours.
Wearable devices.All notifications must be switched off.
iPads and all other personal devices.All notifications must be switched off.
Students undertaking workplace learning activities e.g. work experience or undertaking VET or SBAT offsiteThe policy is not applicable for students on work experience. Instead, students are expected to comply with a workplace's policies.

Camps, Excursions and Extracurricular Activities

Princes Hill Secondary College 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.

4. Evaluation & Review

This policy will be reviewed in Term 2, 2020 and subsequently every 3 years.

5. Definitions

Mobile Phone - For the purpose of this policy, is a telephone with access to a cellular (telecommunication) system, with or without a physical connection to a network.

Smart Device - Any device that can access telecommunications and data (internet) services.

6. References

School Policy and Advisory Guide - Students Using Mobile Phones

DET Personal Goods Policy

Ban, Search and Seize Harmful Items

DET Personal Goods Policy

7. Related Policies

Bullying Prevention Policy

Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy



Policy Controls

Status

APPROVED

AuthorBrian Pender
Version2.0
AudiencePublic
Internal ApproverTrevor Smith
Council ApprovalApproved
Approval Date

 

Review Date