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New draft phone agreement at school

Umina Beach Public School will discuss a new "Acceptable use of mobile phone agreement" at its next P and C meeting.

The agreement will apply across the school but, where special circumstances exist, parents may apply for exemption and a special Mobile Phone Pass.

"The increased number of students with mobile phones, the impact this has on the school learning environment and the rise of mobile phone-related incidents at school has led to review and update our school policy," said principal Ms Karen Wardlaw..

"Our goal is to establish and communicate shared expectations of acceptable and unacceptable use of mobile phones at our school as well the consequences for inappropriate use.

"We seek to ensure there are fair, consistent processes at school to manage and increase acceptable use of phones at our school.

"One of the new updates to this policy is the requirement of all families who would like their child to bring a mobile phone to school to read, sign and agree to follow the acceptable use agreement.

"This agreement encapsulates the agreed behaviours considered acceptable at school regarding mobile phone use as well as clearly outlining definitions of unacceptable phone use (both minor and major) and the related consequences for inappropriate behaviour.

"This new policy and process aligns with related department policy such as the Student Use of Digital Devices and Online Services Procedures.

"We trust that this new policy, now in draft form, will be strengthened and improved from community feedback.

"We recognise and are mindful that there are medical, personal or family circumstances where a student must have their phone on them at all times.

"Parents and carers will be able to request an exemption and apply for a Mobile Phone Pass.

"All requests will be confidentially considered on a case-by-case basis and granted when required by law or at the principal's discretion."

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