French school mobile phone ban comes into force

New law comes into force as survey finds majority of British parents would support similar legislation in the UK

Eleanor Busby
Education Correspondent
Tuesday 04 September 2018 13:09 BST
French children aged between three and 15 will not be able to use their mobile phones at school following a ban
French children aged between three and 15 will not be able to use their mobile phones at school following a ban

Pupils in France have been banned from using their mobile phones during school hours after a new law has been passed prohibiting their use.

Students in both primary and middle schools up to the age of 15 will now have to leave their phones at home or switch them off.

From now on they will only be able to use them in cases of emergency.

Education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said the law aimed to help children focus on lessons, to socialise better and to reduce social media use. It is also designed to fight online bullying and prevent thefts or violence in school.

Currently in the UK, it is up to the school to decide whether phones should be banned.

But a new poll released as pupils return to school suggested that almost six in 10 (59 per cent) UK parents think students should not be allowed to carry their mobiles around the school grounds.

However, of the 2,022 parents surveyed by Internet Matters, 27 per cent said phones should be permitted during breaktime, while 34 per cent said they should be permitted during lunchtime.

Cyberbullying was also found to be a cause of concern for eight out of 10 respondents, with 68 per cent worried about their child feeling the strain of having the latest device.

Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos said: “Children who are starting secondary school are going from being a big fish in a little pond to a little fish in a big pond and they are suddenly having to find their way. On top of that, they have all these new communication tools and kids are starting to interact online – which can be very different from the face-to-face interactions they’re used to.

“Unless parents take the time to outline the differences of communicating online and offline, and prepare them for how things can be misconstrued online – they run the risk of feeling isolated or even bullied.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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