Mobile Phone Policy

Vision

Fitzroy High School values children as individual learners who are full of potential and capable of excellence. Our students will be lifelong learners, reflective and creative thinkers, responsible and active citizens, and resilient and adaptable problem solvers able to navigate through an uncertain and constantly changing future. Fitzroy is a learning community where students and teams of teachers work together to:

  • Achieve high standards so that all students fulfil their capabilities in academic, intellectual, social, emotional and physical development
  • Celebrate diversity and embrace individual differences, including class, culture, race, gender, sexuality and ethnicity
  • Build a cohesive, compassionate and proud school community with a productive legacy for the future
  • Develop beyond our current capacity through continuous change and review
  • Participate in and contribute to our wider community. 

Philosophy

Fitzroy High embraces a bold and ambitious dream: striving for excellence and equity. We aim to be a humane learning community in which teachers use relationships to deepen their knowledge of students. This is in order to engage all of them in an intellectually challenging education based on powerful ideas, help them toward social maturity, and prepare them for a life of meaningful possibilities and active participation as Australian and global citizens.

Purpose of the policy

To explain to our school community the Department’s and Fitzroy High School’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 Fitzroy High School and,

2.    Students’ personal mobile phones 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.

Policy

Fitzroy High School understands that students may bring a personal mobile phone to school, particularly if they are travelling independently to and from school.

At Fitzroy High School:

  • 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 Policy issued by the Minister for Education, personal mobile phones must not be used at Fitzroy High School 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 Fitzroy High School 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 Fitzroy High 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 Safety of student belongings at school and on school related activities policy.

Where students bring a mobile phone to school, Fitzroy High School will provide secure storage. Secure storage is storage that cannot be readily accessed by those without permission to do so. At Fitzroy High School students are required to store their phones in their lockers, which should be kept securely locked.

Enforcement

Students who use their personal mobile phones inappropriately at Fitzroy High School may be issued with consequences consistent with our school’s Student Wellbeing and Engagement Policy.

At Fitzroy High School 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 Policy.

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

1. Learning-related exceptions

Specific exception Documentation
For specific learning activities (class-based exception) Unit of work
For students for whom a reasonable adjustment to a learning program is needed because of a disability or learning difficulty Individual Learning Plan

2. Health and wellbeing-related exceptions

Specific exception Documentation
Students with a health condition Student Health Support Plan
Students who are Young Carers A localised student record

3. Exceptions related to managing risk when students are offsite

Specific exception Documentation
Travelling to and from excursions Risk assessment planning documentation
Students on excursions and camps Risk assessment 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 exception is granted, the student can only use the mobile phone for the purpose for which it was granted.

Camps, excursions and extracurricular activities

Fitzroy High 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.

Exclusions

This policy does not apply to

  • Out-of-school-hours events
  • Travelling to and from school
  • Wearable devices (notifications turned off)
  • iPads, tablets and other personal computers
  • Students undertaking workplace learning activities, e.g. work experience
  • Students who are undertaking VET

Related policies and resources

Review period This policy was implemented in November, 2019 and is scheduled for review in November, 2022.