France to impose total ban on mobile phones in schools

The Telegraph reports that France is to impose a total ban on pupils using mobile phones in primary and secondary schools starting in September 2018, its education minister has confirmed.

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.

Studies suggest that a significant number of pupils continue to use their mobiles in class and receive or send calls or text messages.

Up to 40 per cent of punishments are mobile-related, according to Philippe Tournier, a Paris headmaster with the Snpden-Unsa teaching union. But he said it was tricky to know how to clamp down on the practice without being able to, say, search pupils’ bags. 

It remains unclear how the ban would work. Mr Blanquer had previously suggested that schools would have to provide lockers for pupils to store the phones during school hours.

“We are currently working on this [ban] and it could work in various ways,” said Mr Blanquer. “Phones may be needed for teaching purposes or in cases of emergency so mobile phones will have to be locked away.”

Read more France to impose total ban on mobile phones in schools

How much mobile phone usage is allowed in your school? How can you control the use of them? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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