Schools told compulsory ‘BYO device’ policies are illegal

classroomNZ Herald 26 March 2017
Education bosses are set to remind all schools that they can’t enforce bring your own device policies on parents – even though a majority of Kiwi schools have now adopted them.
A survey by Network4Learning, which provides state-funded broadband to the country’s 2500 schools, has found that 69 per cent of secondary schools and 49 per cent of primary schools had “BYO device” policies by late 2015. The survey is now being updated.
Many schools, such as Auckland’s decile-7 Pakuranga College, now “require all year 9 students to include a digital device in their ‘stationery’ list“.
But Ministry of Education deputy secretary Katrina Casey said compulsory BYOD policies breached provisions in the Education Act guaranteeing a “free education” at state and partnership schools for all children from age 5 to 19.
“We will be reminding all schools that boards of trustees can ask, but can’t compel, families to bring their own digital devices because schools can’t deny a child’s access to learning if their parents can’t provide them one,” she said.
“In these cases, boards need to provide access to a school device.
“No child’s learning should ever be disadvantaged by a lack of access to technology.”

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