Posted on 25 November, 2022

Changes to the use of mobile phones, smart watches and other electronic devices in schools

Changes to the use of mobile phones, smart watches and other electronic devices in schools

On 2 November 2022, the Minister for Education, the Hon. Eva Lawler MLA announced a new mobile phone policy for every government school in the Northern Territory.

The new Student mobile phones in government schools policy will come into effect on day 1 of Term 1, 2023. It requires that students in years 7 to 12 who choose to bring mobile phones to school, must have them off and away all day and stored securely. This means mobile phones must be switched off, not accessed, seen, or heard at any time during school hours or on school premises (including recess and lunch breaks).

This policy applies to mobile phones, smart watches and all other devices that allow electronically based distractions. Smart watches will need to be switched to flight mode while students are in school.

Managing mobile phones

Mobile phones are an important communication tool and we respect the right of parents and carers to provide their child with a mobile phone. The school acknowledges the importance of mobile phones to many families and students who travel to and from school.

When students can access their mobile phones

Students can access their mobile phones:

  • to monitor a health condition as part of a school approved and documented health plan
  • for a particular educational purpose under the direct instruction of a teacher
  • with permission of a teacher for a specified purpose
  • in the event of an emergency to contact emergency services.


In the event of an emergency or if you need to contact your child, please contact the school office.

Exemptions to the policy

Students who are required to monitor a health condition can have access to their mobile phones where the school has an approved health care plan with the student and family.


The new policy can be found on the Department of Education’s website

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The Compass App

Students and their families are encouraged to download the Darwin High School Compass app to their smart phone/tablet device. Compass app allows you to stay up to date with announcements and events, complete a range of e-forms for student absences and excursions and easily contact us via phone or email direct from the app.

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