Purpose

To explain to our school community the Department’s and Beaufort Secondary College’s policy requirements and expectations relating to students using mobile phones and other personal mobile devices during school hours.

Scope

This policy applies to:

  1. All students at Beaufort Secondary College and,
  2. Students’ personal mobile phones and other personal mobile 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.  For the purpose of this policy, “mobile phone” refers to mobile phones and any device that may connect to or have a similar functionality to a mobile phone such as smart watches.

Policy

Beaufort Secondary College understands that students may bring a personal mobile phone to school, particularly if they are travelling independently to and from school.

At Beaufort 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.

Personal mobile phone use

In accordance with the Department’s Mobile Phones — Student Use Policy issued by the Minister for Education, personal mobile phones must not be used at Beaufort 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 the purpose for which the exception was granted, and in a safe, ethical and responsible manner.

Secure storage

Mobile phones owned by students at Beaufort Secondary College are considered valuable items and are brought to school at the owner’s (student’s 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 Beaufort 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.  Refer to the Department’s Claims for Property Damage and Medical Expenses policy.

Where students bring a mobile phone to school, Beaufort Secondary College will provide secure storage. Secure storage is storage that cannot be readily accessed by those without permission to do so. At Beaufort Secondary College students are required to store their phones at The General Office.

Enforcement

Students who use their personal mobile phones inappropriately at Beaufort Secondary College may be issued with consequences consistent with our school’s existing  Student Wellbeing and Engagement and Code of Conduct policies.

At Beaufort Secondary College inappropriate use of mobile phones is any use during school hours, unless an exception has been granted, and particularly use of a mobile phone:

  • 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 cyber bullying
  • 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,
    • Health and wellbeing-related exceptions; and
    • Exceptions related to managing risk when students are offsite.
  • can be granted by the principal, or by the teacher for that class, in accordance with the Department’s Mobile Phones — Student Use Policy.

The three categories of exceptions allowed under the Department’s Mobile Phones — Student Use Policy are:

  1. Learning-related exceptions
Specific exceptionDocumentation
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 or learning difficultyIndividual Learning Plan, Individual Education Plan
  1. Health and wellbeing-related exceptions
Specific exceptionDocumentation
Students with a health conditionStudent Health Support Plan
Students who are Young CarersA localised student record
  1. Exceptions related to managing risk when students are offsite
Specific exceptionDocumentation
Travelling to and from excursionsRisk assessment planning documentation
Students on excursions and campsRisk assessment planning documentation
When students are offsite (not on school grounds) and unsupervised with parental permissionRisk assessment planning documentation
Students with a dual enrolment or who need to undertake intercampus travelRisk assessment planning documentation

Where an exception is granted, the student can only use the mobile phone for the purpose for which it was granted.

Camps, excursions and extracurricular activities

Beaufort 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.

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
  • Students who are undertaking VET

Related policies and resources

Review period

This policy was last updated on December 2020 and is scheduled for review on December 2022.