Amended July 2018
The use of mobile phone technology is a valid and important part of our young people’s lives, and as a college, we would like to assist our students to appropriately use mobile technology, learn and demonstrate mobile phone etiquette. It is our aim to ensure students can manage the many functions of a mobile phone as they grow into young adults, responsibly and respectfully. Learning digital citizenship, and managing some of its risks, is a part of adolescence, and teaching our students how to conduct themselves online, and stay safe in the world of social media, is an important focus for the college community.
We aim to work with our parent community, as partners, so that all students are able to use a mobile phone maturely and without incident. We also recognise that there are times when use of a mobile phone can enhance the learning process (ie taking photos of homework or explanation on the board, recording a speech or presentation for feedback later, to set reminders for tasks that are due.) Fremantle College also recognises that there are times when it is genuinely appropriate and useful for students to have access to a mobile phone for communication – for example, to contact parents in emergencies, to confirm or change a collection time after drama, music rehearsals or sports practice.
However, the college has a clear stance on the use of mobile phones in class. Unless specifically and explicitly allowed by a teacher for that lesson purpose, it is not acceptable for mobile phones to be switched on or used during college lessons. We use a “Not Seen, Not Heard” approach to phones on campus.
With respect to mobile phones, the following guidelines apply:
- As a general rule, mobile phone use by students should only be in cases of emergency at recess and lunch breaks or between classes. Any student, who is feeling unwell at college and needs to go home, must arrange this through the nurse or absentees. Under no circumstance may students use mobiles or to contact home and make arrangements to leave.
- Courtesy, consideration of and respect for others are paramount at all times. This includes online communication via social media, text and email.
- Mobile phones brought to the college are used entirely at the students risk. The college cannot accept any responsibility for theft, loss or damage resulting from mobile phone use. Fremantle College does not have insurance that covers theft or damage of mobile phones. Students and parents should recognise that mobile phones can be targets for theft and, accordingly, phones should always be stored in a safe and secure place. If a mobile phone is confiscated by a staff member, they will endeavour to protect the safety of the mobile phone but are not held liable for any damage, loss or theft to the phone whilst waiting for a parent to pick it up.
- Mobile phones are not seen, and not heard, in classrooms (unless given permission by the specific teacher of that lesson for a learning purpose). In the event that a student has a mobile phone out or visible in class, the following steps apply;
- The teacher reminds the student of the Not Seen, Not heard policy and kindly issues the first verbal reminder.
- The teacher reminds the student again of the policy and issues the last reminder, this time, writing the students name on the board in the corner.
- If the student does not comply in the lesson, the teacher approaches the student and asks for the phone, and confiscates it. Staff will use an appropriate mobile phone envelope however cannot accept any responsibility for a mobile phone during the period in which it is confiscated. A reminder to all parents that electronic devices are NOT covered by the college’s insurance for theft or loss. Therefore parents are strongly encouraged to cover their child’s electronic devices, including mobile phones, under their own contents insurance policy.
- If the student does not comply with handing over the phone, the teacher informs the student that they will be referring the student, who has not followed instructions to Student Services. An Academy welfare event will be processed and referred to the Manager of their year level.
- The teacher will place the phone in an envelope and label with the students name and date. Front office staff will hand the envelope to the relevant Associate Principal for:
- First offence student is to pick up after 2.50pm.
- Second and subsequent offences, the college will phone the parent and ask to them to collect the phone at their convenience during office hours.
- An exception to the process above is that mobile phones are not to be taken into examinations at all. Phones are to be left in the student’s bag at the side of the room. Students are not to use their phone to video students during the college day. Any student filming a staff member either in class or in the yard is in serious breach of the college rules and this may result in suspension from college.
If a student’s phone is confiscated for reasons based on inappropriate use, depending on the nature of the breach, it may not be returned on that day.
While the majority of students do the right and responsible thing when it comes to using mobile phone technology, it is important to be aware of the importance of these guidelines and we ask that parents support the process if these guidelines are not adhered to. These guidelines should also be read in conjunction with the Fremantle College Computer Acceptable Use Policy.