NOBLE PARK SECONDARY COLLEGE

Student Mobile Phone Policy 2020

Child Safe Commitment
• Noble Park Secondary College is committed to child safety.
• We want children to be safe, happy and empowered. We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers.
• We are committed to the safety, participation and empowerment of all children.
• We have zero tolerance of child abuse, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated very seriously and consistently with our robust policies and procedures.
• We have legal and moral obligations to contact authorities when we are worried about a child’s safety, which we follow rigorously.
• Our College is committed to preventing child abuse and identifying risks early, and removing and reducing these risks.
• Our College has robust human resources and recruitment practices for all staff and volunteers.
• Our College is committed to regularly training and educating our staff and volunteers on child abuse risks.
• We support and respect all children, as well as our staff and volunteers. We are committed to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children, the cultural safety of children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, and to providing a safe environment for children with a disability.
• Noble Park Secondary College is committed to creating safe and inclusive environment for all its students from all backgrounds, cultures, languages, LGBTI, religious and other minority groups.
• We have specific policies, procedures and training in place that support our leadership team, staff and volunteers to achieve these commitments.
• Further information, our policy, code of conduct and reporting processes are available on our website
• If you believe a child is at immediate risk of abuse phone 000.

PURPOSE
To explain to our school community the Department’s and Noble Park’s policy requirements and expectations relating to students using mobile phones and other personal electronic devices during school hours.

SCOPE
This policy applies to:
1. All students at Noble Park Secondary College and,
2. Students’ personal mobile phones and other personal electronic devices brought onto school premises during school hours, including recess and lunchtime.

DEFINITIONS
A mobile phone is a telephone with access to a cellular (telecommunication) system, with or without a physical connection to a network.
A personal electronic device is any other personal device with access to a cellular (telecommunication) system, with or without a physical connection to a network OR to store or access to digital photos/music/video content OTHER than a school authorised Laptop Device.

POLICY
Noble Park Secondary College understands that some students may bring a personal mobile phone to school, particularly if they are travelling independently to and from school.
At Noble Park Secondary College:
• Students who choose to bring mobile phones to school must have them switched off and securely stored during school hours in their locked locker.
• 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.
Where a student has been granted an exception, the student must use their mobile phone for the purpose for which the exception was granted, and in a safe, ethical and responsible manner.

Personal mobile phone use
In accordance with the Department’s Mobile Phones Policy issued by the Minister for Education, personal mobile phones and electronic devices must not be used at Noble Park Secondary College during school hours, including on entry to the school property, at lunchtime and recess, until return to you locker after
your last class (or detention) for the day.

Secure storage
Mobile phones and personal electronic devices owned by students at Noble Park Secondary College are considered valuable items and are brought to school at the owner’s (student or parent/carer’s) risk.
Students are encouraged not to bring a mobile phone to school unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
Please note that the school 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.

Refer to the Department’s Personal Goods policy:
https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/governance/pages/personalgoods.aspx

Where students bring a mobile phone or personal electronic device to school, Noble Park Secondary College will provide secure storage. Secure storage is storage that cannot be readily accessed by those without permission to do so. At Noble Park Secondary College, students are required to store their phones and personal devices in their locker that must be locked with a school provided lock.
If in extenuating circumstances a locker is not available or not secured, – then the student should leave the phone or personal electronic at the front office – and it will be labelled stored securely in the safe by front office staff, and signed for the collection and return of.

Enforcement
Students who use their personal mobile phones or personal electronic inappropriately may be issued with consequences consistent with our school’s existing student engagement policies and code of conduct.

  • The student will be asked to hand the phone to the staff member
  • The staff member will put the phone in a bag labelled with the students name and year level
  • The staff member will hand the bag and phone to the front office immediately (if recess/lunch) or directly after the class if during lessons,
  • The front office staff will securely store the phone in the strongroom
  • The front office staff will – log the event on Compass, which will automatically alert parents via SMS and Email. (Parents without an email or mobile number will need to be contacted via phone.)
  • Front office staff will make the phone available for the parent or guardian (or listed emergency contact person), to collect at the earliest opportunity.

Refusal to hand over a phone or personal electronic device, and consistent refusal to follow the policy will require further follow up according to school’s existing student engagement polices and code of conduct, which would include afterschool detentions, withdrawal from classes, parent meetings and if needed internal or external suspensions.

At Noble Park Secondary College, inappropriate use of mobile phones or personal electronic devices is any use during school hours on the school site, unless the principal has granted an exception.

It is not appropriate to use a mobile phone at any time:
• in any way that disrupts the learning of others
• to send inappropriate, harassing or threatening messages or phone calls
• to engage in inappropriate social media use including cyberbullying
• to capture video or images of people, including students, teachers and members of the school community without their permission
• to capture video or images in the school toilets, changing rooms, swimming pools and gyms
• during exams and assessments

Exceptions
Exceptions to the policy:
• may be applied during school hours if certain conditions are met, specifically,
o Health and wellbeing-related exceptions; and
o A student with a learning disability; and
o Exceptions related to managing risk when students are offsite.
• can be granted by the Principal, in accordance with the Department’s Mobile Phones Policy.
The three categories of exceptions allowed under the Department’s Mobile Phones Policy are:

1. Learning-related exceptions

Specific exception Documentation
For students for whom a reasonable adjustment to a learning program is needed because of a disability or learning difficulty The necessity for a particular device should be documented within their Individual Learning Plan, or Individual Education Plan
The Principal will provide an exemption pass to the student.

2. Health and wellbeing-related exceptions

Specific exception Documentation
Students with a health condition Student Health Support Plan where a mobile device is used to connect to health monitoring equipment (i.e. diabetes)
The Principal will provide an exemption pass to the student.
Students who are Young Carers Principal is advised and there is documentation that the student is a parent or primary carer of a child.
The Principal will provide an exemption pass to the student.

3. Exceptions related to managing risk when students are offsite

Specific exception Documentation
Travelling to and from excursions independent of parents or teachers Compass or School Council Event planning documentation.
Students on excursions and camps for Childsafe and educational purposes Compass or School Council Event 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.

Where an onsite-exception is granted, the student can only use the mobile phone or personal electronic device for the purpose for which it was granted. A pass will be provided by the Principal and presented to staff by the student on request.

Camps, excursions and extracurricular activities

The school 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 and electronic devices on Compass and School Council Forms for camps and outdoor education activities.

Exclusions

This policy does not apply to

  • Out-of-school-hours events
  • Travelling to and from school
  • Students undertaking workplace learning activities, e.g. work experience, VCAL work placement
  • Students who are undertaking VET externally

 

Related policies and resources

Review period

This policy was last updated on November 25 2019 and is scheduled for review in November 2022