UHC Cellphone Policy & Procedures

Policy: Use of Cellphones at School

The Government has introduced new regulations prohibiting the use of cellphones at school - also called ‘phones away for the day’. These regulations must be implemented by all State schools and are designed to ensure that teaching and learning in a school is maximised, and that the potential for distraction and using cellphones inappropriately is minimised.

How will this work at school - what are the rules?

The new regulations are applied through a number of rules:

  • 'Away for the day' means that cellphones either do not come with the student to school, or are switched off and kept in a school bag for the full school day.
  • Students will NOT be allowed to use cellphones during school hours - from the first warning bell at the start of the day, to the bell signalling the end of the day.
  • Cellphone use is not allowed:
    • during class time, Ako Time or during any other activity that takes place at school
    • at break times - interval and lunch - as well as any transition time between classes.
  • We recognise that some cellphones can be used as a learning tool in the classroom, therefore teachers may incorporate their use in lessons when appropriate. The teacher will determine when a cellphone may be used in class, and it will only be for teaching and learning purposes. At any othertime, a student's cellphone will be out of sight and switched off.
  • Students may be able to take their cellphone on EOTC events but will be advised on this by the teacher before the event starts. The use of a cellphone   during the event will be determined bu the teacher in charge of the event.
  • If students bring their cellphone to school, they do so at their own risk. The school is not responsible for any loss, damage or theft of a cellphone.
  • This policy and rules apply to all students at all school levels. 


Parents/caregivers can make a request to the principal ([email protected]) for a period of exemption from these rules for their child if required. Exemptions permitted for certain students and circumstances include:

  • A specific educational purpose eg part of an Individual Educational Plan.
  • Health purposes eg monitoring insulin levels.
  • Disability or learning support needs.
  • Translation needs for International or ESOL students.
  • A special circumstance approved by the principal eg compassionate grounds.


  • If a parent or caregiver needs to contact their child during school hours, they should call the Office.
  • If a student needs to make an urgent phone call, they can do so at the Office.
  • Students will be permitted to access their cellphone, if they have it, during emergencies. Lockdown procedures have different requirements around cellphone use and students will be guided by their teacher on this. 

Inappropriate use of a cellphone, including using a cellphone when not permitted, will be managed through our Inappropriate Use of Cellphone Procedures.

Rules about cellphones made by the board are a school bylaw. The board consults with the school community when making or amending bylaws. We discuss school rules about cellphones at the beginning of the year, and throughout the year as needed.

 Procedures: Inappropriate Use of a Cellphone

 Inappropriate use of a cellphone may include:

  • Using the cellphone when not permitted.
  • Any sort of bullying or harassment, including online bullying.
  • Taking photos or videos of other people - students or staff - without their permission and/or sharing these.
  • Forwarding or sharing inappropriate messages or content.

If a student is seen using their cellphone:

  • The first time, teachers will remind students of the rule and ask them to turn the cellphone off and put it back in their bag. A warning about further consequences will be issued.
  • If there is repeated use, the cellphone will be removed from the student and returned at the end of the period.
  • If the student uses the cellphone a third time, the student will be asked to hand over the cellphone and the teacher will, as soon as possible, take the phone to the Office where it will be bagged, labelled, and stored securely in the Secure Room. The cellphone may be collected by the student at the end of the day.
  • If there is repeated and/or ongoing use of a cellphone, despite the above process occurring, then a further range of responses may be used which may include:
    • the cellphone may be confiscated for a longer period of time
    • parents/caregivers may be required to collect the cellphone
    • the cellphone may have to be handed in to school at the start of the day for a period of time 
    • a meeting with whānau may be requested to discuss the student not bringing the phone to school

 Failure to comply with a request to hand a device over to a staff member is defiance, and ongoing issues with inappropriate cellphone use is continual disobedience. These behaviours will be managed as part of our normal behaviour management procedures. 


This policy and procedures may be reviewed at the end of Term 2, 2024 or as necessary.