Back to School for 2023

NT Government

Around 33,000 Government school students will return to our Territory classrooms tomorrow.

This year will see 2900 pre-schoolers and 2700 transition students commence their school journey, and 1300 students entering Year 12.

One big change for the 2023 school year that has been welcomed by staff and parents, is the introduction of the mobile phone ban.

Primary school students who bring mobile devices to school will be required to hand them in at the front office for the day. Secondary students will be expected to turn off their phones, smartwatches and other personal devices and keep them ‘off and away’ all day – including during breaks.

The policy allows for teachers to permit mobiles only when necessary for classroom purposes or in emergencies.

Special consideration will be given to students with special requirements on a case-by-case basis managed by the school.

Providing a mobile-free zone in classrooms and on school grounds will help our teachers and school staff provide a focused and productive learning environment where children and young people can feel safe, connect with each other, and achieve learning outcomes.

Each school will have their own plans on how students can securely store their mobile phones. For example, locked bags, lockers or storerooms. Your school will provide details on how students will be required to store their mobile phones and other devices.

Road users are reminded that school zones are in force as of tomorrow. School zones are signed and are generally set to 40km/h limits between 7am and 5pm on school days. Police can and do monitor school zones and issue infringements.

Quotes from Chief Minister Natasha Fyles

“The Territory Labor Government supports families to send to their kids to school with a raft of measures including $150 Back to School Vouchers, $100 sports vouchers, engagement and attendance programs, before and after school care and school buses.

“Mobile phones can be confiscated by the school if the student is using the device and they have not been given an exemption to use it.

“The student or parent or carer will need to collect the phone after school. This will depend on the school policy as well as the frequency of non-compliance.”

Quotes from Minister for Education, Eva Lawler

“Our teachers, school leaders and school support staff do a wonderful and very important job. I thank them for their dedication to engaging and educating our young people.

“The importance of going to school every day cannot be underestimated. This is why our government has an Education Engagement Strategy. We need to work together – government, communities and families – to make sure learning is relevant, engaging, culturally responsive and flexible so that each and every Territory student can find their place and thrive.

“As the Minister also responsible for road safety, I ask all drivers to remember that school zones are again operational from tomorrow and to slow down around schools.

“Students come to school on foot, by bike, by bus and by car. The roads around schools get very busy and drivers really need to be aware and take extra care.”

Northern Territory Government

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