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France to ban mobile phones in schools from September 2018

Pupils, teachers and parents seem less than convinced by measure prohibiting use in primary, junior and middle schools.

The French government is to ban students from using mobile phones in the country’s primary, junior and middle schools.

Children will be allowed to bring their phones to school, but not allowed to get them out at any time until they leave, even during breaks.

A proposed ban was included in Emmanuel Macron’s successful presidential election campaign this year.

Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French education minister, said the measure would come into effect from the start of the next school year in September 2018. It will apply to all pupils from the time they start school at age of six – up to about 15 when they start secondary school.

Blanquer said some education establishments already prohibited pupils from using their mobiles.

“Sometimes you need a mobile for teaching reasons … for urgent situations, but their use has to be somehow controlled,” he told RTL radio.

The minister said the ban was also a “public health message to families”, adding: “It’s good that children are not too often, or even at all, in front of a screen before the age of seven.”

The French headteachers’ union was skeptical that the ban could be enforced.

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Source: The Guardian