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Group of kids playing video games on smart phone after school


NSW students are at risk of falling behind their peers in other states when it comes to banning mobile phones from schools.

Chris Minns, NSW Labor Leader will meet with South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas today, whose state is banning mobile phones in schools, following similar bans in Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Today a Parliamentary Inquiry into Teacher Shortages and Education Outcomes will hear evidence from experts regarding the impacts of technology on students.

If elected, a Minns Labor Government will take immediate action and introduce a statewide ban on mobile phones for students across all government schools in NSW.

Urgent action is required to reverse declining education outcomes in NSW and help tackle cyberbullying.

In 2006, NSW was effectively ranked 6th in reading, 9th in maths, and 3rd in science according to PISA rankings.

NSW now ranks 23rd in reading, 31st in maths, and 23rd in science.

Phones are currently only banned in government primary schools, but there is no consistent policy for high schools.

Only a Minns Labor Government will take the action required to get our kids off their devices and start reversing declining educational outcomes.

Dominic Perrotett’s Liberals refuse to take action.

A ban on mobile phones is backed by experts and is the right thing to do for students, teachers, and parents.

NSW Labor will also introduce a $2.5 million research fund, to look at the impact of screen-related addictions on young people.

The fund will go to research projects that will increase understanding of the impact of excessive screen time, video games and mobile phone use on young people and their learning.

After 12 years under the Liberals and Nationals, NSW schools have endured chronic teacher shortages, merged or cancelled classes and declining education outcomes.

Labor has placed education front and centre with a comprehensive plan for a fresh start for education, including:

  1. Building new co-located preschools, with 100 new public preschools and 50 new and expanded preschools at Catholic and Independent schools;
  2. Converting 10,000 temporary teachers to permanent positions to end the casualisation of the teaching profession;
  3. Cutting admin hours for teachers by five hours per week;
  4. Banning the use of mobile phones in all NSW public schools to reduce distraction, cyberbullying and improve education outcomes;
  5. Ending the failed overseas recruitment program and redirecting resources towards recruiting NSW teaching students into schools;
  6. Expanding co-ed school access for all families so every parent has the choice of where to send their children; and
  7. Labor’s Growth Areas Schools Plan which will deliver new and upgraded schools in growing areas across New South Wales.

Quotes attributable to South Australia Premier Peter Malinauskas  

“Just this week South Australia imposed a blanket mobile phone ban which is now in place in 44 public high schools.

“At best, phones in the classroom are a distraction.

“At worst, they can be a schoolyard tool that facilitates bullying harassment and anti-social behaviour.

“I think NSW schools could really benefit from following South Australia’s lead.

“A ban on mobile phones was long overdue, it is supported by evidence and it’s the right thing to do.”

Quotes attributable to Chris Minns, NSW Labor Leader:

“If elected, the next Labor Government will make it very clear, NSW classrooms should be places focused on learning, free of digital distractions.

“Our policy is evidence-based and will work.

“Only NSW Labor will take to the election a policy promising to ban mobile phones in schools and reverse our state’s educational decline.”

Quotes attributable to Prue Car, NSW Shadow Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning: 

“The NSW Liberals are refusing to take the necessary steps to reverse declining educational outcomes and tackle cyberbullying.

“A ban on mobile phones is a common-sense measure backed by strong policy, it’s proven to work.

“We are the only party committed to ensuring parents and teachers have all the research on the impacts of screens and devices on childhood development.”

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