Dear Parents

Hastings Secondary College's Mobile Phones and Social Media – Acceptable Use Policy is currently under review. This scheduled review is to maximise the effectiveness of this policy in positively supporting student learning. Data has indicated that despite the extensive efforts in consultation with students, staff and parents in the revision of this policy (June 2019), that mobile phones remain an issue in regards to detracting from student engagement in both academic and social aspects of school, particularly for our Year 7 to 10 students.

For this reason, the school is proposing changes to the current policy in regards to the complete ban of mobile phones for all students in years 7 to 10. This would obviously involve students not bringing phones to school with them.

All communication from home with students will need to occur through the school’s front office. A review of whole of school communication infrastructure is currently happening to ensure the reliability of these communication methods prior to this policy change. 

We recognise that in some instances, that there will be genuine safety or communication concerns of parents that may require their child to have access to their phones prior to arriving on site or immediately following school dismissal. For this reason, where necessary, students will be able to deposit their phones at our front office for collection at the end of the school day. Any Year 7 to 10 student observed with a phone after arriving on school site (and before 2.15pm), would be directed to the relevant Deputy Principal, with the phone put aside for parent collection. Repetition of this behavior would result in this being treated as continued disobedience under the school’s Wellbeing, Behaviour and Discipline Policy.

While we recognize that this proposal represents a considerable change in current practice, and will be unpopular with some of our students, various data sources, including staff and parent feedback, indicate both the need for and considerable support for this change.

Prior to a potential Term 1 2021 implementation, we are seeking feedback from our parent community to ensure that these changes are genuinely aligned with parent expectations in best supporting our students. We encourage you to access the relevant feedback link to access your opportunity to provide this feedback or request a call back if you would like to further discuss this change.