News & Events
Year 7 2024 Enrolments close Friday 12 May 2023

Mobile phone changes – what parents need to know


As Catherine McAuley College moves towards removing all student personal digital devices (PDD) from the schoolyard and classrooms, there are changes to everyday habits that will also affect parents and carers.

Families are encouraged to talk at home about mobile phone use and why the changes are being made. Support from home will help students to accept the new policy which will lead to a more focused approach in the classroom as well as greater opportunities for social interaction and physical activity during breaks.

As students will not access their PDD during the school day, communication between home and school may be made using email or by checking phone messages at the end of the school day. For serious or urgent messages, contact the General Office.

When students need to leave the school during the day, they must go to the General Office for an Exit Pass. The student will come to the General Office at the arranged time and wait until the parent or carer arrives to collect them.

If a student feels unwell during the school day, they must go to the General Office where a member of staff will contact the parent or carer. If a student needs to go home, a staff member will phone the parent or carer to arrange a pickup and the student will wait until the parent or carers arrives to collect them.

Students with part time jobs need to make sure their employers understand that they cannot be contacted during school hours. They will be able to catch up with messages at the end of the school day.

Students with health or wellbeing concerns will be encouraged to discuss individual needs with their Student Advocate of a member of the Wellbeing Team. They may be able to help find an alternative or work through the process for an exception.

Although adjustments to what we are used to can feel difficult or confronting, evidence from other schools suggests that these changes will address concerns about the impact overuse of mobile phones has on thinking and learning as well as health and wellbeing.

At St Mary’s we are moving towards PDD not to be seen in class at all unless directed by a teacher for a specific learning task. Later in Term 4, we will gradually remove PDD from break times until they are locked in lockers for the entire school day for all year levels, as they already are at Coolock. The aim is to have all PDD confined to lockers across the entire school from the beginning of Headstart 2022.

We thank parents and carers for their support through the introduction of new restrictions for PDD in our school. A smooth transition will help bring positive benefits to our College community and provide a positive learning environment for all students.

Click on the link below to read further articles and some of the research that is helping to guide these decisions.