Mobile phones at school

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There are rules about using mobile phones in public schools in Tasmania. These rules also apply to some other personal devices, like smartwatches and tablets as well as headphones and earbuds. 

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Mobile phones in schools

The rules on mobile phone use at school are different depending on whether you go to a public government school or a private school. If you go to a private school, scroll down for some more information about the rules that apply to you. 

Each public school should have its own policy on mobile phones as well. 

What are the rules?

Public school students in Tasmania must keep phones and other personal devices turned off and stored away during school hours. This means that you are also not allowed to use your phone at break times, such as recess and lunch.  

Smartwatches need to be placed on ‘flight mode’. 

Your teacher may allow you to use your phone for a learning activity in the classroom. However, if your teacher has not expressly told you that you can use your phone, you must keep your phone turned off and stored away. 

Can I bring my phone to school?

The rules say you are allowed to bring your phone to school, but you are not allowed to use it during the school day.  

You may use your phone before the start of the school day, after the end of the school day and when travelling to and from school. You may also use your phone or personal devices during out of school hours care on your school’s campus.   

Where do I need to store my phone during the school day?

Your school will decide where you need to store your phone or personal devices while at school. For example, you may be required to hand in your phone to your school’s office, or you may be required to store your phone in a place where you cannot access it throughout the school day.  

Before storing your devices, you will need to turn them off.  

What if I need my phone?

If you need your phone or a personal device, your school may allow you to use it for a specific purpose. You need to have the approval of the school principal before you can use it.  

The principal may allow you to use your phone if:  

  • you require a mobile phone or personal device for a disability or learning difficulty 
  • you have a health condition 
  • you are a young carer  
  • you are undertaking school activities outside school hours that are not on school campuses   
  • If you have another special situation. 

In some schools, you can be allowed to use a phone if you are in year 11 or 12. 

If you want approval to use your phone at school, it’s a good idea to find out your school policy on how to request it. You can also think about whether you need any evidence to support your application (for example, a letter from a doctor or a family member). 

It can also be a good idea to talk to a family member or a teacher you trust about why you need an exemption, so they can support you with this process. 

If you think the school has treated you unfairly, you can contact us for advice. For more information about discrimination at school, check out our webpage. 

What are the consequences for using my phone during the school day?

Each school should have its own policies about what can happen if you break school rules. You can also check out our webpages on: 

Under the rules, one consequence of using your phone without permission at school is that you may no longer be allowed to bring your phone to school.  

If you go to a private school

If you go to a private school, it probably has its own policy on when you can use a mobile phone at school. You can find this by searching on your school’s website, or asking a teacher you trust at school. 

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