Skip to content

One of the great challenges facing Middle Years boys is the safe and responsible use of technology. Mobile devices are an integral part of all our lives and have significant upside when used correctly. Whilst at school, our policy is that boys are allowed to have their phones with them at all times. They can be used to support learning in the classroom with the teacher’s permission.

Outside the classroom, phones can be used for discrete personal use.

We believe that supporting boys to sensibly and responsibly manage the use of mobile devices is important. We have very clear guidelines about how mobile devices can be used. It is appropriate for boys to use mobile devices to check timetables, My Tasks, Sports Zone, school emails, or to text their families.

It is unacceptable for boys to use mobile devices to access social media, capture media, upload images, share content or play games.

All boys are aware of these expectations and the principles that underpin them.

There are many excellent resources for schools and parents that help support our boys on the safe use of technology. One such resource is the Office of the eSafety Commissioner website. This website provides excellent information about online safety.

Below is a sample of information they provide. Suggestions include how parents can manage web-connected devices and may provide a strategy or two that families can use to enhance the safety of our boys when online at home.

Managing web-connected devices in the home

Almost one in three teens are accessing the internet between 10pm and midnight:

  • 39% of teens use a tablet to go online. Parental control tools are available for Apple’s iOS and Android.
  • 47% of teens play games and PCs online. Playstation, Xbox, Wii and Steam have parental controls.
  • 64% of teens stream video on YouTube and TV. YouTube and YouTube Kids have a safety mode; YouTube Red offers ad-free videos. Netflix and Stan offer age-based settings.
  • 74% of teens use a computer to go online. Microsoft Windows and Apples’ MAC OSX offer family restrictions and monitoring.
  • 78% of teens research and browse on the internet. Safe search settings are available for Google Safe Search, Google Chrome and Yahoo7.
  • 80% use a smart phone. Telstra Mobile Protect, Vodafone Guardian, Apple iOS and Android have safety options.
  • 86% have home broadband access. Telstra provides parental control tools and homework time blackouts; Optus and Vodafone provide guidance on tools.

Parental controls can keep young people safe on many screens. They can:

  1. Block sexually explicit sites
  2. Set screen time limits
  3. Block in-app purchases
  4. Block numbers and SMS
  5. Allow or block websites
  6. Restrict chat features
  7. Allow parental monitoring

Remember: no parental control is one hundred per cent fail-safe. Keep children’s trust by using these tools openly at home.

James Tamblyn, Head of Middle Years