Alstonville High School

Integrity in all aspects of life

Telephone02 6628 5222

Mobile Phones

Mobile phone Management Strategy – Phones Off and Away


The NSW Department of Education implemented a new Students’ Use of Mobile Phones in Schools policy at the beginning of Term 4, 2023. Mobile phones are now banned in New South Wales public high schools from arrival to departure.  This policy was implemented statewide to increase focus and learning in classrooms, remove distractions and promote positive social interactions.  In implementing this policy, our school opted for the Phones Off and Away option provided to us by the department.


The policy is for all students, year 7 to year 12.  Phones Off and Away means that the phone and associated devices including earbuds are turned off and kept in the student’s school bag, not on their person.  Non compliance will result in consequences ranging from confiscation of the device/s to suspension.  In the event of a teacher requiring students to use their phone in class, then appropriate notification will be provided.  Note: such event are likely to be infrequent.

On Arrival

Students are to have their phones off and away on entry to the school grounds.  This includes students who arrive early in the morning.  We encourage these students to bring a non-electronic option to occupy them while waiting for their friends, such as a book or puzzle.  Phones and associated devices are not to be visible nor in use at any time on school grounds and must be in school bags, not on student’s person; this ban includes classrooms, the playground and sick bay.

What happens if my child is seen using their phone at school?

Students seen with a mobile phone on their person during school hours, including break times (before school, recess, and lunch) will receive a warning; upon the third warning the student will be suspended.

  • Warning 1 – The student will be directed to take their phone to the office where it will be kept safely for student collection at 3.30pm. If the student is non-compliant with this request, they will be issued with a suspension warning.
  • Warning 2 - The student will be directed to take their phone to the office where it will be kept safely until their parent/carer collects the phone, the student will be issued with a warning of suspension.
  • Warning 3 - When a student has received two prior warnings and has been seen with their phone out for a third time, they will be suspended. Their parent/carer will be asked to collect their child and the length of suspension will be advised.

Exemptions will be made for mobile phones that are required for medical or learning requirements. If your child requires an exemption, please contact the front office for an exemption application form.

How can you help?

Please speak to your child/ren about the mobile phone management strategy that commenced in NSW high schools in term 4, 2023.  If you have any questions, please contact the office on 6628 5222.