School’s groundbreaking move to lock away students’ phones gets surprising results as pupils actually ENJOY being barred from screen time
- Wauchope High School is the first in Australia to lock away students’ phones
- Students have to lock their phones in electronic cases when they enter school
- Suspensions have dropped by a third since the ‘phone-free zone’ was started
- The innovative move has been supported by students, parents and teachers
The first school in Australia to lock away students’ phones has received a surprising response from pupils who say they actually enjoy having less screen time.
Students at Wauchope High School on the mid-north coast of NSW, have been locking their phones in Yondr electronic pouches from 9am to 3.30pm since May 6.
Student suspensions dropped by a third and negative incidents dropped by 10 per cent during a four-week trial of the technology.
Wauchope Principal Glen Sawle said students showed ‘maturity’ in making the school ‘a phone free zone’ in a school newsletter.
Parents widely supported the Yondr program, which is also used for concerts, stand-up comedy and private events.
Students (pictured) have locked their phones in electronic Yondr pouches (pictured) from 9am to 3.30pm at Wauchope High School since May 6
Students lock their cases (pictured left) on docking stations (pictured right) when they enter the school in the morning
School Captain Caitlin Miller said she has noticed a massive change in the school.
‘I really love it and everyone’s interacting with each other — a lot of people are getting in trouble for talking now,’ she told to ABC News.
School vice-captain Ella-Jai Nolland said the phone ban was a big adjustment.
‘I was excited, nervous, mixed emotions, a little bit scared — I never really knew how addicted I was,’ she said.
‘I’m feeling better about myself and I feel like I don’t have to rely on my phone constantly.’
Students are allowed to take phones out of their pouches for educational purposes – like a Year 11 biology class that was allowed to film a rat dissection.
Wauchope High School (pictured) is the first school in Australia to lock away students’ phones has received a surprising response from pupils who actually enjoy having less screen time
‘Staff have noticed a change in the students in the short time Yondr has been a part of our school,’ the newsletter said.
Principal Glen Sawle reminded parents their kids have two options.
‘They can leave their phone at home or they place their phone in their Yondr bag before they come on site of a morning and remove it from the Yondr pouch as they leave,’ he wrote.
‘If you need to contact your child during the school day, call the front office.
‘If your child needs to contact you they can go to the front office and we will ensure that this can happen.’
Daylesford Secondary College in Victoria is the second school to come on board and has already conducted a day trial.
Students can either leave their phone at home or use the Yondr cases (pictured) at school