Thursday, February 22, 2018
Media Releases

Better classrooms, better results, better outcomes

A Liberal Nationals Government will introduce a policy that students from Foundation Year to Year 12 will not be permitted to use mobile phones during class time.

This is not a ban on students taking mobile phones to school, this policy is limited to use of phones during class time.

We believe in providing school classrooms that are ideal learning environments. We believe good learning environments mean better outcomes and standards.

That means learning environments free of unnecessary distractions where children can focus, are content and also aren’t distressed by bullying and intimidation.

We believe successful classrooms are those where teachers are in control and there are no distractions with students surfing the internet, updating their social networking sites, communicating with each other instead of listening to the teacher and in the worst case scenario, cyber-bullying other kids.

The Liberal Nationals believe in a back to basics approach to school education and that includes classrooms that are free from unnecessary distractions and a school curriculum that focuses on mastering literacy and numeracy skills.

A Liberal Nationals Government will be committed to ensuring that schools set high expectations and are characterised by disciplined and orderly classrooms.

Whilst we all agree that our children need to be confident and competent with new technologies and all of the future job opportunities it brings, the personal usage of smart phones in the classroom doesn’t advance that goal.

Australian classrooms, compared to other OECD systems, have an unacceptably high incidence of disruption and unruly behaviour.

Schools need to be given greater freedom to manage unruly and disruptive students and schools need to set clear consequences for bad behaviour.

Students with a compelling reason – such as family, health or similar issues – will be exempt from this new policy.

Where lesson plans as part of the curriculum require students to use a smart phone, such as an app,the internet or features such as a calculator, students will be permitted to use mobile phones into the classroom for those express purposes only.

Managing the enforcement of this policy, including decisions about whether students are required to put their phones in lockers or school bags or a purpose built security box in classrooms, will be left to the judgment of individual schools.

Our children deserve classrooms free of distractions and an environment that enables them to be the best they can. That includes bullying and cyber-bullying, which will be the subject of a comprehensive policy package to be released shortly by the Liberal Nationals.

Comments attributed to Shadow Minister for Education, Tim Smith:

“We have to get back to basics in education and focus on the things that really matter, improving literacy and numeracy skills,and that can only happen in classrooms that are free of distractions.

“Daniel Andrews is focused on political correctness instead of being focused on improving education standards and outcomes.”

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