Michael Carr-Gregg advocates for smartphone restriction for Tasmanian primary school pupils

A well-known Australian child psychologist has called on the Tasmanian Government to restrict smartphone access and use in classrooms for public school students.

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg will be in Launceston on March 23 for the Resilient Kids Conference, which is coming to Northern Tasmania for the first time.

He has just completed a six-month inquiry for the New South Wales government on the use of smartphones in government schools.

The independent review into the non-educational use of mobile digital devices was completed in February and had eight recommendations to better equip primary and secondary school students on cyber safety.

A major recommendation was to restrict the access of smartphones during class time for primary school students.

RESTRICTION CALL: Australian child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg has called on the Tasmanian government to restrict smartphone use in public schools. Picture: supplied

RESTRICTION CALL: Australian child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg has called on the Tasmanian government to restrict smartphone use in public schools. Picture: supplied

The review suggested that if pupils brought smartphones to school, they must be placed in a secure location during class to minimise disruption, distraction and prevalence of cyberbullying.

"I believe that smartphones should be banned in primary schools and I would call on the Tasmanian Government to look at the results of the NSW inquiry," Dr Carr-Gregg said.

"They [Tasmanian Government] don't need to do their own inquiry because it's already been done, but they should be looking at the recommendations and looking to adopt it," he said.

Dr Carr-Gregg has worked in the areas of health psychology, bullying, parenting adolescents and adolescent mental health. He also founded the National Coalition against Bullying and is a national spokesman.

Cyber safety has been identified as a priority for the Education Department for 2019 under the recently released Child and Student Wellbeing Strategy.

However, there is no specific mention of smartphone or mobile phone use in the policy.

"With the growth of social media and technology, participation can take on new meaning and provide options for learners who have struggled to engage and participate in the past. However, with this opportunity comes challenges to ensure cybersafety and to protect learners from the misuse of social media," the strategy said.