Top Sydney School SCEGG’s Darlinghurst PROHIBIT students from using mobile phones in school

An elite of the Sidney Girls’ School has banned students from using their phones in school after teachers reported concerns that students were being distracted by their phones during class.

Teachers at SCEGGS in Darlinghurst say students have become more dependent and distracted by their phones, with many noticing a significant increase in unit use in the classroom after last year’s lockdown.

SCEGGS Darlinghurst is the latest school to impose restrictions on students using phones or electronic devices after Shore School banned students from bringing their own laptops to class last month.

An elite girls’ school has banned students from using their phones after teachers reported concerns that students were distracted by their phones during class

SCEGGS Darlinghurst implemented the ban on mobile devices as several teachers raised the issue of school leaders.

School principal Jenny Allum then sent a letter to the parents announcing the ban and the reasons behind it.

Allum said teachers were concerned about an “apparent increase in the number of students” being distracted by their phones while trying to teach.

She also pointed out that students became too dependent on their devices.

Ms Allum told The Sydney Morning Herald: “It looks especially after the COVID shutdowns, but maybe [it is] also for other reasons.

The move by SCEGGS comes just a month after the private boys’ school Shore School banned students from bringing their own laptops to class.

Teachers at SCEGGS Darlinghurst (pictured) in Sydney say students have become more dependent and distracted by their phones, with many noticing a significant increase in unit use in the classroom after last year’s lockdown

SCEGGS Darlinghurst introduced the ban on mobile devices when a number of teachers raised the issue of school leaders. School principal Jenny Allum then sent a letter to the parents announcing the ban and the reasons behind the decision.

Shore School – which charges $ 37,350 a year for Class 12 tuition – originally allowed students to bring their own devices to class for their education under a Bring Your Own Device policy.

But the prestigious single-sex Anglican college withdrew and introduced a ban after many boys were increasingly distracted by gambling, pornography, social media and streaming sites instead of concentrating on their teachers.

School principal Timothy Petterson cited distraction in the classroom as one of the main reasons for the policy change and told parents that BYO policy was only “suboptimal for students’ learning.”

Teachers admitted at a student information evening last month that problems had arisen since boys at the school began bringing their own devices to class.

Shore School in North Sydney (pictured) originally allowed students to bring their own devices to class. But the prestigious single-sex college Anglican has since implemented a ban after several of them were caught on online gambling sites, on social media or then pornography.

A former student who graduated from Shore School last year wrote an article for the school’s newsletter explaining how common his peers’ use of laptops was.

“Students are playing, playing, browsing social media, watching Netflix, buying things on eBay, video conferencing with their friends and watching porn while their teacher talks to them,” he said.

“I’m five weeks out of trying HSC in one of the top classes and it still happens every day.”

The author wrote that “less than half of the students in most of my classes give teachers their full attention, most are staring at their laptops.

He remembered that a teacher had to stop their class “every 10 minutes” to ask students to look up and pay attention.

The school is currently rolling out a new policy that boys will “rent” laptops with built-in controls instead of bringing their own devices.

Teachers have also been trained to be aware of the misuse of devices in the classroom.

Teachers admitted at a student information evening last month that problems had arisen since boys at school began bringing their own devices to class

Prohibitions and restrictions on mobile phones and laptops have become a divisive issue among schools and educators.

Last year, NSW clarified rules for primary and secondary schools after a review of telephone use in schools.

“The new policy includes the digital unit restriction for primary schools, which was announced by the NSW Government in December 2018 in response to the review,” the department said.

“Under the new policy, colleges retain the discretion to choose the constraint or implement an approach that best suits their circumstances and the needs of their different communities.”

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