From first to last bell, mobile phones stay in the school locker.
In December last year we reported on the NSW government schools ban on mobiles during school hours. The Victorian government has now gone further, banning mobile phones in both primary and secondary schools. The Victorian Minister for Education James Merlino said, “Half of all young people have experienced cyberbullying. By banning mobiles we can stop it at the school gate.”
At Davell we have been supplying schools with lockers for many years and are keenly following the debate, and its wider implications for upgrading school resources.
Resourcing our schools
As reported in The Age, Victoria has taken one of the world’s toughest stances on mobile phone use in schools, where students must switch off their devices and store them in lockers during school hours. This raises the prospect of two key changes to school resourcing.
1. Schools need to provide free, secure storage in on-site lockers.
Mobile phone bans in New York City schools were not as successful as hoped, partly because schools did not make secure storage options available to the students. Their cell-phone ban within the school building was costing families money to pay for private storage of the phones during school hours.
2. Schools need phone storage lockers to be off-limits during the day, unlike their regular lockers.
A critical factor of the new ‘first to last bell’ approach is that any phones the students bring to school need to be kept inaccessible throughout the school day. However, students who currently enjoy a large locker that accommodates bags, books and sports equipment will still need to access that locker between classes. So, even schools that have lockers in place will need to provide lockers that are phone dedicated.
Davell can provide banks of phone-dedicated lockers which take up minimal space within the school precinct and will store mobile phones in a secure steel compartment.
Davell has recently released the second generation of our popular Laptop Charging Lockers and Mobile Phone Charging Lockers. These upgraded phone lockers are designed to charge the phone during the day, adding value to the process and transforming the lock-up into a more positive experience for students.
Accepted practice in the future
Psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg believes that, “All schools have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment in which to learn. This significant policy initiative is designed to ensure the well-being of young people while at school, free of distraction and potential cyberbullying.”
It isn’t just the teachers and school principals who are pushing to keep mobile phones out of the classroom. Students themselves have identified the need for restrictions. According to Bundoora principal Ann Marie on ABC Radio, students identified problems arising from phone usage at school as “bullying, distraction and one-upmanship”. The gap between students who brandish expensive phones with internet access, those with cheap basic phones and those who can’t afford one at all has caused stress. “The students were the ones who said, everyone needs to get refocused on their learning and to only use mobile phones as a tool.”
Widening the ban
Although the Victorian ban only applies to Government schools, many private schools in the area are already ahead of the movement.
With phone bans already in place in France and parts of Canada, the movement is world-wide. At a British independent school adopting the ban, as reported in The Times, “Dorothy MacGinty, headmistress of Kilgraston School in Perthshire, said that she has been scolding staff members while pupils have embraced the digital detox.”
Take a look at our mobile phone storage solutions for schools.
Please get in touch with Davell on FreeCall 1800 069 105 to discuss your mobile phone storage needs.