Recently, Premier Mark McGowan and Education Minister Sue Ellery announced a ban of mobile phones from WA public schools, which will come into effect from January 2020, however, private schools, including Catholic, are exempt from this ban.
It’s great that the government is focusing on increasing student engagement and productivity within the school environment, however, we hear your concerns and want to help clarify how to address this ban.
With the slight restructuring of our children’s learning conditions, it can be quite confusing, so the basics of the newly introduced ban are as follows:
Primary School: No form of mobile phones are allowed on their person, however, a student is allowed to access their device as long as they go via the correct channel i.e. asking permission from the administration office.
High School: Phones or devices may be kept on their person for educational use, or if its functionality is restricted i.e. flight mode.
Please note that exemptions to the policy can be negotiated, at any time, between the parent and the principal; there is no state-level enforcement.
Under the current policy, the TicTocTrack watch is classified as a ‘mobile phone’ rather than a ‘smartwatch’, however, as it is designed specifically for safety, it has restricted functionality. With no camera, access to the internet, text function, or the ability to interact with any form of social media, the TicToctrack watch is limited to a maximum of six linked trusted numbers that are pre-set by the carer or parent. A first-to-market product, the device has been used successfully in schools across Australia for 6 years, providing significant comfort to parents and educators thanks to its wide array of safety features.
Using the TicTocTrack watch for medical reasons, including mental health and intellectual impairments, will see the device exempt from the ban.