Phones are already forbidden in French classrooms but starting next school year, pupils will be barred from taking them out at breaks, lunch times and between lessons.
Teachers and parents are divided over a total ban, however, with some saying children must be able to “live in their time”. In France, some 93 per cent of 12 to 17-year-olds own mobile phones.
“These days the children don’t play at break time anymore, they are just all in front of their smartphones and from an educational point of view that’s a problem,” said Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French education minister.
“This is about ensuring the rules and the law are respected. The use of telephones is banned in class. With headmasters, teachers and parents, we must come up with a way of protecting pupils from loss of concentration via screens and phones,” he said.
“Are we going to ban mobile phones from schools? The answer is yes.”
Studies suggest that a significant number of pupils continue to use their mobiles in class and receive or send calls or text messages.