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Irrawang High School

Irrawang High School

Achievement through learning and participation

Telephone02 4987 4687

New Mobile Phone Policy 2023

Mobile Phone Policy

12 December 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,

Irrawang High School acknowledges the educational value of digital devices and online services in supporting and enhancing educational outcomes and student wellbeing. We also recognise they may cause harm if used inappropriately and that we need to support our students to use them in safe, responsible and respectful ways in order to enhance student learning and engagement.

The Department of Education required schools to review and update their ‘Digital Devices and Online Services Policy’. After carefully considering the results of surveying the student body, discussions with P & C, AECG, Staff and Executive Teams, we have decided to proceed by using Yondr pouches to secure mobile phones during the school day.

The results of our students survey revealed that learning, engagement, mindfulness are currently being negatively impacted by the use of mobile phones at school:

·         100% of students said they check their phones during the school day

·         72% of students check their phones between 5 and 40 times during the school day

·         69% of students indicated they need to check their phone during class time

·         82% of students indicated they use internet which is not through the Department of Education’s filters during the school day

·         44% of students have found out that peers have said things about them on social media at school

·         50% of students have seen inappropriate photos or videos circulated on phones at school

·         45% of students have received unwanted messages from someone during the school day

·         68% of students say teachers spend too much time worrying about students on their phones during lessons

·         31% of students get annoyed when other kids are using their phone during class time

·         79% of students say their parents have contacted them on their phone during class time

We are writing to share the exciting news that we will be making our school a mobile phone-free space to improve learning and engagement.

We are using a system called Yondr to achieve this goal. Yondr is currently used globally in over 2000 schools and 150 schools throughout Australia, as well as at concerts, comedy shows, weddings and special events of all kinds. There are several schools in the Hunter who are launching the use of Yondr pouches in 2023. The goal of these spaces is to encourage students to engage with each other and their surroundings.

The Yondr Program employs a simple, lockable pouch that stores a mobile phone. Every student will secure their phone in a personally assigned Yondr pouch when they arrive at school each morning. They will maintain possession of their phones, and will not use them until they are unlocked at the end of the school day. Students are required to bring their Yondr pouch to and from school each day and are responsible for their pouch at all times.

We are encouraged by the effects of this system in learning institutions. In 2019, Yondr surveyed over 900 school partners to measure the effects of creating phone-free educational environments. These schools achieved notable progress in multiple areas:

●     69% of schools saw an improvement in academic performance

●     84% of schools saw an increase in student engagement in the classroom

●     80% of schools saw a decrease in behaviour referrals

We believe the Yondr program will allow our students to:

  • Be more mindful and less distracted
  • Be more engaged in classroom activities
  • Improve their communication and interpersonal skills

In addition, we expect there will be a decrease in bullying and harassment through social media.

In an effort to best serve your child, we appreciate your full support in adoption of the Yondr Program at Irrawang High School. We will be launching this program on January 27 2023.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school directly on (02) 4987 4687. There will also be further information posted on school communication platforms.


Nicole Huxley