Mobile phone ban in NSW public high schools to start in late 2023 – ABC News

Mobile phone ban in NSW public high schools to start in late 2023 - ABC News

Mobile phones will be banned in New South Wales public high school classrooms, recesses and lunchtimes from Term 4. 

The newly elected state government says the ban delivers on a promise made during the election campaign to reduce distractions for high school students.

It will mean students must not use their phones during school hours.

They are already banned in NSW primary schools.

Premier Chris Minns said parents were worried about their children texting and using social media during class.

“I know a lot of adults who find it difficult to concentrate when a mobile phone is in front of them, so I don’t know why we expect children to have that kind of discipline in them,” he said.

Mr Minns said the government would not specify how schools should keep phones out of students’ hands, but said locked pouches and lockers were options.

“There are low-cost and no-cost options that are available to them,” Mr Minns said.

“It may be as simple as making sure mobile phones are in a student’s bag and can’t be taken out during the school day.”

White plastic tubs sitting on a desk with mobile phones inside them and tags such as 'year 9'
Condell Park High School has banned phones at school for 16 years.(ABC News: Sarah Hawke)

He said he recognised some children would try and get around the ban by sneaking phones to class or using laptops instead.

But he said there was evidence in other states, and in the UK, that the ban improved learning outcomes. 

“In the UK the benefits were felt the highest among the students with the lowest scores,” he said.

“They received double the increase in scores that the average students in their cohort were able to achieve.”

South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria and the Northern Territory have also banned phones in public high schools.

Many high schools in NSW already have bans in place and require students to put them in lock boxes or pouches at the start of the day.


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