Mobile phones are set to be banned in South Australia’s primary schools from 2021 under new State Government rules for the state’s public schools.

The State Government says that students will have to refrain from using their phones during school hours under the new policy announced on Thursday by Education Minister John Gardner.

Under the policy, schools will be left to decide where students are permitted to store their phones during school hours, which could be under a teacher’s care, in a locker or in students’ bags.

The change will only affect the state’s public primary schools and will not impact South Australian high schools or private schools. High schools in SA will continue to decide their own rules when it comes to mobile phones.

SA Primary Principals Association president Angela Falkenberg told The Advertiser that while teachers would agree with the sentiment that kids can “live without their phone,” she was concerned that the rule could create more anxiety within families unable to contact their children throughout the day.

The restriction does not apply to laptops are tablets that are used for learning in class.

Under the policy, students would still be permitted to carry their phones with them to and from school, allowing them to be contactable outside of school hours.

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