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‘It’s a no-brainer’: NSW starts new phone ban, push for Victoria to follow

The architect of groundbreaking new rules for mobile phone use in NSW schools wants to see Victoria follow suit.

NSW will take on recommendations by a panel led by Melbourne psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg to completely ban smartphones from primary schools.

“Dumb phones” — or those without internet capabilities — will be allowed on school grounds but must be locked away or handed in during school hours.

High schools have several policies to choose from, ranging from the primary school ban to relaxed policies.

Dr Carr-Gregg told Neil Mitchell secondary schools need to makes decisions based on their community’s culture because some schools “are just happy to have children turn up”.

But his preference, in general terms, is a French model that bans phone use up to Year 10.

“That’s because I think, developmentally, kids in Year 11 and 12 probably have a better capacity for self-regulation and we’ve also got to prepare them for a workplace,” he said.

Dr Carr-Gregg said the fact that 24 per cent of children aged 8-12 have received unwanted contact from strangers online suggests jurisdictions outside NSW should also act.

“This is really about protecting our children, and it’s a no-brainer.”

He expects the policy to be take to COAG, where a national approach could be introduced.

Click PLAY to hear more from Dr Carr-Gregg

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