NSW Premier Chris Minns followed through with his election promise and banned mobile phones and other non-educational digital devices for all public secondary school students during class, recess, and at lunch. The ban takes effect from Term 4 2023 and does not prevent students from carrying a phone while travelling to and from school.
The Premier’s announcement necessitates readily available tailored management solutions for schools to effectively enforce this policy. Some schools have already implemented a plan, such as pouches or lockers. This strategy is to assist those that are yet to do so.
This NSW Department of Education (DoE) Request for Tender (RFT) is an open tender seeking to establish a panel of providers eligible to supply mobile phone management solutions. This will enable secondary schools to easily purchase a solution to comply with the digital device ban.
The objective is to provide schools with a single reference of departmentally approved vendors who have management systems tailored to their solution. Once schools have decided on a mobile phone management plan, they can engage with these pre-approved vendors via a marketplace panel for their goods and services or implement a solution of their own.
DoE requires the panel of vendors to be in place by Term 3 2023 to provide an opportunity for schools to consult and engage ahead of the Term 4 deadline (9 October 2023). Schools will oversee their individual solution.
To assist schools align to the requirements of the policy, the various suppliers included in the panel will:
· support school staff with the implementation and ongoing operation of their selected solution
· provide equipment, where required, in a timely and suitable fashion
· share information and knowledge on their goods and services in ways that are safe, flexible, and represent value for money to the school and community
· provide advice and ongoing support where applicable.
DoE expects the solutions will effectively remove the potential of a mobile device being a distraction to students, and will comply with the below high-level requirements:
· cost-effective to purchase, implement, and maintain
· easy for school staff to administer and not add to the admin burden of teachers
· flexible enough to accommodate future changes in the policy
· solutions deliverable within 3 business days for metro sites, within 5 business days for regional sites, and within 7 business days for rural remote sites
· suppliers must specify plans to provide delivery, repair, and replacement services for metro, regional, and rural remote sites for all products with minimal disruption.
The closing time and date for responses is 10am on 5 July 2023.