SOME Bendigo schools are already testing out the mobile phone ban ahead of the statewide roll-out in 2020.
The Victorian government in June announced students in state primary and secondary schools would be required to turn off mobile phones and store them away during the school day.
The government said the only exceptions to the policy would be where students used phones to monitor health conditions or where teachers instructed students to bring their phone for a specific classroom activity.
Bendigo Senior Secondary College is trialling the ban this week during its 2020 transition classes.
BSSC assistant principal Kylie Hand said while students were banned from having their phones during classes or in study periods, they were allowed to use their mobiles at recess and lunch.
Read more: Bendigo school welcomes mobile phone ban
"We have deviated slightly," Mrs Hand said. "Mainly because students are allowed to leave the school grounds during lunch and recess so we want to ensure their safety.
"We also want to encourage students to stay at school during those break periods. If phones were banned for the whole school day, then it may encourage students to leave school so they can access their phones."
Mrs Hand said the response to the ban had been overwhelmingly positive.
"In the past several months, we have been going through extensive consultation with students, staff, and parents," she said. "They have helped shape our policy.
"Early indications are that the results are likely to be overwhelmingly positive. We haven't had any negative feedback yet and we're not expecting to get any.
"Our students are already saying they are relieved to not have their phone because of their distracting and addictive nature.
"We're noticing that students are already more focused and less tempted by distraction."
BSSC has received an additional 800 lockers through the state government to ensure each student has secure storage.
Mrs Hand said the state secondary schools in Bendigo have been working together to decide how to implement the changes.
"We've been sharing the policies and outcomes of the consultations with each other," she said. "We're trying to get as much consistency as possible among the secondary schools.
"We're aiming for consistency while allowing for some differences."
The mobile phone ban will be rolled out across all state primary and secondary schools from the start of next year.
The state government will review the program at the end of 2020.
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