Parents have backed an ACT-wide ban on mobile phones in public schools, with some saying the move is expected to have a positive impact on students' wellbeing.
Under the new rules, students from kindergarten to year 10 will be prohibited from using personal communication devices, including phones and smart watches, during school hours and events.
While the new policy acknowledges the role of phones as a learning tool, it also notes that the devices can be a source of distraction and could contribute to bullying.
Parents and grandparents who spoke to The Canberra Times almost unanimously praised the move to ban the devices in schools.
Watson resident and parent Lucy Hutchens said limiting social media and other disturbances in school was a good thing.
"I think if I had been in school and had social media as a distraction on top of everything else, it would probably make life much harder," she said.
"I feel like it can only be a good thing."
Grandparent Harika Manikis said children on mobile phones weren't paying attention to school work.
"We all grew up without phones and look at us, I think we've all turned out quite decent," she said.
"If anything happens, there is a school office ... any child can contact their parents throughout school hours by going to the office."
Canberra parent Sally Mills, who petitioned for schools to rid playgrounds of mobile phones and end the inconsistent rules around mobile use in schools across the territory, also welcomed the move.
"We have an obligation to take ... a harm minimisation approach and really, there can be no harm in giving kids a few hours ... free of their mobile phones," she said.
"I really just wanted parents to be aware that kids need to have that time to be socialising and building new relationships and involved in face-to-face communication."
Ms Mills believed the ban would be welcomed by the wider community and was looking forward to more information on how the new rules would be enforced.
"I think it's about educating and working with the children on why this is being undertaken. Working with them on what their expectations would be, personally, is how I would approach it," she said.
"I think kids respond to being involved and having a sense of agency in what they want to do."
ACT Council of Parents and Citizens Associations executive officer Veronica Elliott said the council was pleased with the policy.
"There's a number of things that we hear about mobile phones in classroom, one is simply that students are not on task and not learning and obviously school is there for the learning," she said.
"The second thing is that other students find it very distracting, as well so that there are a number of reasons."
Education Minister Yvette Berry said students would be asked to leave their devices at home but the rules would not be enforced through bag checks.
Individual schools will be responsible for determining what consequences a student would face if they were caught with their phone.
"Schools already have systems in place to manage student behaviour and so they'll just implement those processes should they be required," Ms Berry said.
Schools can also decide whether to make students leave their phones in a lockable pouch, which has already been implemented by some schools. Schools can choose to use their existing budgets to do this but most are likely to encourage students to leave their phones at home.
"Some schools have already trialled the lockable pouches and schools can still use that as an opportunity and consultation with their school communities and that might be an option that some schools take up," Ms Berry said.
"A number of schools have already agreed that the best approach for them is just to have students either be encouraged to leave [phones] at home or to leave them in their bag."
Ms Berry said the ACT government will be making sure that the policy is clearly understood by students, families and school staff.
But recent graduate, Tigerlily, told The Canberra Times that while the intent behind the ban made sense, it was unlikely to be enforced successfully.
"You go into a school, there's so many rules already that people don't listen to," she said.
Schools and families will have a transition period that will extend to the end of term one next year.
The time would allow schools to implement the change and for families who need exemptions to submit evidence.
The move brings the ACT in line with other states.