The South Australian government is set to ban mobile phones in public primary schools in a major push to keep technology out of the classroom.
Education Minister John Gardner announced the move, first proposed by the opposition in 2019, on Thursday.
The draft policy will restrict primary-aged students from accessing mobile phones or personal devices during school hours.
It won’t apply to school-sanctioned “bring your own devices” such as laptops and iPads.
“This draft policy, developed in close consultation with school principals, principal associations and senior school leaders, sets out a sensible approach to managing the use of mobile phones during school hours,” Gardner said.
“But we want to test it with our educators to ensure it is workable on the ground.”
The rules would still allow students to access their phones outside school hours, such as while travelling to and from school.
Phone bans will be more relaxed for secondary schools, which Gardner said “need more flexibility” for older students.
“The draft policy provides a strong framework of principles, with the necessary element of local flexibility to accommodate the different needs of individual school communities,” he said.
Shadow education spokesperson Blair Boyer said Labor welcomed the move.
“It is pleasing that, more than a year and a half after Labor announced this policy the Marshall Liberal Government has decided to jump on board,” he said.
“Technology is part of the future for all young people, that is why it is important to teach them how to manage the negative sides of technology as well as take advantage of the benefits.”
The mobile phone ban will come into effect in 2021.