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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 1 Hansard (13 February) . .

Page.. 54..

Sometimes these devices, like phones, are used for providing different supports for education for different students' needs. I know that some students use the mindfulness app on their phones so that they can listen to whatever music or noises help them with their study in the classroom. These are the kinds of things that we need to be very careful about in making decisions across the board, denying students and other people access to phones when they are very clearly a part of our community and our society. It is more about making sure that they are used appropriately and that students, schools and families know that appropriate use of phones in schools is the best way forward rather than a prohibition completely.

MISS C BURCH: Minister, what protocols on the use of mobile phones in schools are in place, and do they differ between primary and secondary schools?

MS BERRY: For mobile phones, schools generally will make decisions about whether or not phones are handed in, in primary schools, at the front gate or whether they can take them into the classrooms. Generally, students are not allowed to use their iPhones in the classroom without there being some agreement with the teachers or within the school communities.

I do not understand why people are wanting to prohibit something which is clearly part of the lives of everyone in our community, and within our schools as well. There is no point in taking that away from students when it will be a part of their lives now and well into the future. If it is such a problem, and perhaps if people are of the view that devices, iPhones or other things are not important to achieving academic outcomes in schools, I have a bucket here, and I ask members to donate their technology into the bucket; then I can take it—

Mr Hanson: Madam Speaker, on a point of order, can I ask whether presenting a bucket is the use of a prop?

MADAM SPEAKER: Suffice to say that I was going to call the minister to order and say that you know my views on that. There are no props or stunts allowed. Do you have anything further to add in your remaining 38 seconds?

MS BERRY: Well, if I can't use the bucket—

MADAM SPEAKER: No, you can't.

MS BERRY: I am very happy still to take members' devices and recycle them, if they are of no use to anyone.

MS LEE: Minister, do principals have autonomy to decide on mobile phone use in their schools?

Members interjecting—


Mr Hanson interjecting—

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