Private schools ban mobile phones
Private and public schools are joining a mobile phone ban to reduce stress and "warped views on reality".
Private boys school Newington College joined Shore School and Tara Anglican School for Girls, which are all based in Sydney, by telling students to keep mobile phones in their lockers from the beginning of the fourth term.
In a notice issued to students, Newington will allow them to briefly check messages at recess and lunch, and parents can contact their sons via the school reception office, Fairfax News reported.
A growing number of schools including Deniliquin High School are instituting the ban, blaming mobiles for lowered concentration and heightened stress levels.
Schools banning mobile phones have reported increases in students engagement and conversation during breaks as well as physical activity.
Mobile phones were also found to cause "warped views on reality", Fairfax reported, although the NSW P&C and teachers union remain opposed to any ban.
Newington in Sydney's inner western suburbs introduced the ban after failing in a campaign to teach pupils to use their phones responsibly.
Until last month, boys were allowed to carry phones but not to produce or use them during the school day.
However, many Newington boys struggled with policy
While a NSW government review into mobile phones in schools found they could be constructive learning tools, Newington's research found they were a negative influence.
Constant interruptions of messages and calls, fear of missing out and distraction led to increased stress and poor concentration.
"The college believes that students will gain greater academic and social benefits from not having their mobile phone on their person during the school day," Newington's notice read.
A review of the ban will be held before the term's end and smart watches might also be confined to lockers.
Tara Anglican school in Parramatta in western Sydney reported increased participation in lunchtime clubs and engagement between schoolgirls since banning phones in January.
Deniliquin High School's ban began on July 24 this year.
On day one of the ban, the school tweeted, "It was fabulously noisy in the yard today as students were busy talking to each other at recess and lunch instead of playing on their phones!".
Sydney Church of England Grammar School, or Shore, has banned mobile phones for the last 13 years.
A NSW government a review of non-educational use of mobile devices in the state's schools will be published in early 2019.