Government schools in the Eastern Metropolitan Region will be able to apply for grants thanks to the $12.4 million investment by the Andrews Labor Government to deliver schools the resources they need to securely store student mobile phones, ahead of the state-wide ban starting next year.

The funding will ensure all Eastern Metro schools have the support they need as they implement the policy.

The Labor Government announced in June this year 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.

Each school has different needs and facilities. Eastern Metro schools will be able to apply for funding for secure storage resources that work best for their school.

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.

Fewer children bring mobile phones to primary school, so schools can apply to purchase secure storage cupboards.

This policy will help reduce distraction and bullying, while improving social interactions and learning outcomes for students.

The only exceptions to the policy will be where students use phones to monitor health conditions or where teachers instruct students to bring their phone for a specific classroom activity. When emergencies occur, parents or guardians can reach their child by calling the school.

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.

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan Region Shaun Leane   

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

“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.”

“This is about getting all Victorian state schools ready to put away their phones and put their education first.”