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Quakers Hill High School

Quakers Hill High School

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Digital devices and online services procedure

Digital devices and online services procedure

Implementation: 2022

Last revision: 15 June 2021


This procedure guides student use of digital devices and online services at our school. Our school acknowledges the educational value of digital devices and online services in supporting and enhancing educational outcomes and student wellbeing. We also recognise they may cause harm if used inappropriately and that we need to support our students to use them in safe, responsible and respectful ways.


This procedure provides a consistent framework for the safe, responsible and respectful use of digital devices and online services by students in our school. It sets out the shared responsibilities of school staff, students and parents and carers. It also provides a framework to manage potential risks to student safety and wellbeing. This procedure covers student use of digital devices and online services in school-related settings, including on school grounds, at school-related activities and outside of school where there is a clear and close connection between the school and the conduct of students. This procedure covers the use of school-provided and personal digital devices and all online services.

Our school’s approach

Signed student agreement - To help students demonstrate their responsible use of technology, schools may require students to read and sign a student agreement that outlines the school expectations around appropriate, and inappropriate, use of technology.

'Old-school Wednesday' (device-free) - Once a week, the school goes technology-free for the whole day.

Yondr Phone Pouch - The school has elected to provide students with a phone pouch.


An exemption from parts of this policy or the school procedure can be requested from the principal by parents, carers, school counsellors and other student support staff, and, if required, students themselves. This may cover times when or places where use would otherwise be restricted. Except where required by law, the school principal has the discretion to consider and approve exemptions and to choose which parts of the school procedure the exemptions applies. The exemption may be ongoing or for a certain time period.

Specific processes are in place for Stage 6 students (as outlined in Personal electronic device policy - Yondr).

Consequences for inappropriate use

  • The student is given a warning from a teacher or other staff member.
  • The student is referred to the deputy principal.
  • The student's access to the school network is restricted through the EMU tool on the staff portal.
  • The student is reminded of Stop-Think-Act or other self-regulation techniques.
  • The teacher or principal arranges a meeting with the student's parent or carer.
  • The student's digital device is confiscated by a staff member.
  • Confiscated devices are handed in to the school office and can be collected at the end of the day.
  • Confiscated devices are held in the principal's office until a parent or carer collects the device.
  • Suspension and possible police and/or child wellbeing involvement for serious incidents.

Contact between students and parents and carers during the school day

Should a student need to contact a parent or carer during the school day, they must approach the administration office and ask for permission to use the school’s phone. During school hours, parents and carers are expected to only contact their children via the school office.

Responsibilities and obligations

For students

  • Be safe, responsible and respectful users of digital devices and online services and support their peers to be the same.
  • Respect and follow school rules and procedures and the decisions made by staff, knowing that other schools may have different arrangements.
  • Communicate respectfully and collaboratively with peers, school staff and the school community and behave in the ways described in the Behaviour Code for Students.

For parents and carers 

  • Recognise the role they play in educating their children and modelling the behaviours that underpin the safe, responsible and respectful use of digital devices and online services.
  • Support implementation of the school procedure, including its approach to resolving issues.
  • Communicate with school staff and the school community respectfully and collaboratively as outlined in the 2018 School Community Charter.
  • Switch off or put their digital devices on silent when at official school functions, during meetings and when assisting in the classroom.
  • Provide digital devices that meet school specifications where a school is participating in a bring your own device program and complete any related paperwork.
  • Take responsibility for their child’s use of digital devices and online services at home such as use of online services with age and content restrictions.

For the principal and teachers

  • Model appropriate use of digital devices and online services in line with departmental policy.
  • Deliver learning experiences that encourage safe, responsible, and respectful use of digital devices and online services. This includes: establishing agreed classroom expectations for using digital devices and online services, in line with this procedure and departmental policy; identifying strategies to ensure that all students are able to engage in classroom activities including strategies to accommodate students without a digital device; reading and abiding by the Terms of Service for any online services they use in teaching, including those limiting use by age; and educating students about online privacy, intellectual property, copyright, digital literacy and other online safety related issues.
  • Respond to and report any breaches and incidents of inappropriate use of digital devices and online services as required by school procedures, departmental policy and any statutory and regulatory requirements. This includes: reporting the creation, possession or distribution of indecent or offensive material to the Incident Support and Report hotline as required by the Incident Notification and Response Policy and Procedures and consider any mandatory reporting requirements; working with the department and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner (if necessary) to resolve cases of serious online bullying and image-based abuse; and following the school’s behaviour management plan when responding to any incident of inappropriate student behaviour relating to the use of digital devices or online services.
  • If feasible and particularly as issues emerge, support parents and carers to understand strategies that promote their children’s safe, responsible and respectful use of digital devices and online services.
  • Participate in professional development related to appropriate use of digital devices and online services.

For non-teaching staff, volunteers, and contractors

  • Be aware of the department’s policy, this procedure and act in line with the conduct described.
  • Report any inappropriate use of digital devices and online services to the principal, school executive or school staff they are working with.

Communicating this procedure to the school community


  • The school procedure will be discussed at a whole-school assembly.
  • Classroom teachers will inform their students about this new procedure.

Parents and carers:

  • Parent and carer preferences will be explored via a parent information evening or P&C meeting.
  • Parents and carers will be advised via the school newsletter.
  • This procedure can be accessed electronically via the school's website and in hardcopy at the school's administration office.


If a student, parent, or carer has a complaint under this procedure, they should first follow our school's complaints process. If the issue cannot be resolved, please refer to the department's guide for making a complaint about our schools.


The principal or delegated staff will review this procedure annually.

Appendix 1: Key terms

  • Bring your own device (BYOD) is an optional program where parents and carers can provide personal digital devices for use at school. Any decision to adopt a bring your own device program is made by the principal in consultation with a school community. All digital devices used in schools are covered by the Student Use of Digital Devices and Online Services policy. Schools retain discretion to determine the specifications of personal devices to be used at school.
  • Digital citizenship refers to the skills and knowledge a person needs to effectively use digital technologies in a positive way so they can participate in society, communicate with others, and create and consume digital content.
  • Digital devices are electronic devices that can receive, store, process and share digital information and connect to applications (apps), websites and other online services. They include desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartwatches, smartphones and other devices.
  • Digital literacy is the set of social, emotional and technological skills and competencies that people need to understand to use digital devices and online services, and to expand their opportunities for education, employment and social participation, including entertainment.
  • Educational purpose is any use approved by school staff that supports student learning, wellbeing and educational outcomes.
  • General capabilities are the broad collection of knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions described within the Australian curriculum and NSW syllabus.
  • Image-based abuse occurs when intimate, nude or sexual images are distributed, or threatened to be distributed, without the consent of those pictured. This includes real, altered and drawn pictures and videos. This is a crime in NSW.
  • Online bullying involves using technology such as the internet or mobile devices to bully someone. Bullying behaviour has three key features. It involves the intentional misuse of power in a relationship. It is ongoing and repeated, and it involves behaviours that can cause harm.  Bullying behaviour can also involve intimidation, victimisation and harassment, including that based on sex, race, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.
  • Online safety is the safe, responsible and respectful use of digital media, devices, other technology and online services.
  • Online services are any software, website or application that can gather, process or communicate information. This includes digital classrooms, chat and messaging, online games, virtual reality, social media and other online spaces.
  • Reasonable adjustment is a measure or action taken to assist a student with disability to participate in education and training on the same basis as other students.
  • School-related settings include school grounds, school-related activities and outside of school where there is a clear and close connection between the school and the conduct of students. This connection may exist in situations where: there is discussion about school taking place outside of school hours; a student is wearing their school uniform but is not on school premises; a relationship between parties commenced at school; students are online in digital classrooms; and where online contact has flow on consequences at school and duty of care requires the school to respond once an incident is reported.
  • School staff refers to school personnel who have some level of responsibility for implementing policy and the school digital devices and online service procedure. This includes principals, senior staff, teachers, non-teaching staff, school administrative staff, volunteers and contracted staff engaged by schools.
  • Mobile Phone pouch.

Appendix 2: What is safe, responsible, and respectful student behaviour?

Be safe

  • Protect your personal information, including your name, address, school, email address, telephone number, pictures of you and other personal details.
  • Only use your own usernames and passwords, and never share them with others.
  • Ask a teacher or other responsible adult for help if anyone online asks for your personal information, wants to meet you or offers you money or gifts.
  • Let a teacher or other responsible adult know immediately if you find anything online that is suspicious, harmful, in appropriate or makes you uncomfortable.
  • Never hack, disable or bypass any hardware or software security, including any virus protection, spam and filter settings.

Be responsible

  • Follow all school rules and instructions from school staff, including when using digital devices and online services.
  • Take care with the digital devices you use: make sure the devices you bring to school are fully charged each day and are stored appropriately when not in use; understand that you and your parents and carers are responsible for any repairs or IT support your personal devices might need; make sure the devices you bring to school have the latest software installed and take care with the school-owned devices you share with others, so that other people can use them after you.
  • Use online services in responsible and age-appropriate ways: only use online services in the ways agreed to with your teacher; only access appropriate content and websites, including when using the school’s filtered network and personal, unfiltered networks; and do not use online services to buy or sell things online, to gamble or to do anything that breaks the law.
  • Understand that everything done on the school’s network is monitored and can be used in investigations, court proceedings or for other legal reasons.

Be respectful

  • Respect and protect the privacy, safety and wellbeing of others.
  • Do not share anyone else’s personal information.
  • Get permission before you take a photo or video of someone, including from the person and from a teacher.
  • Do not harass or bully other students, school staff or anyone, this includes cyberbullying using a digital device or online service.
  • Do not send or share messages or content that could cause harm, including things that might be: inappropriate, offensive or abusive; upsetting or embarrassing to another person or group; considered bullying; private or confidential; and/or a virus or other harmful software.

Appendix 3: Specifications required for bring your own devices

Details about BYOD device specifications (including wi-fi, operating systems, software applications, battery life, storage capacity, memory, and more) can be found on the school's BYOD page.

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