The French government has announced that mobile phones will be banned in French schools by September 2018.
On Sunday, the French education minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said that mobile phones will be banned in schools from the start of the next school year. Mobile phones are already forbidden in classrooms in all French primary schools and in the first four years of secondary school. The French government wants to extend the ban to the rest of the school environment.

“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,” Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said, according to The Telegraph.

Calling it a “subject of fundamental society” and an issue of public health, Blanquer pointed to studies that warn against screen time for children under the age of 7.

France 24 raises questions of enforcement: where pupils’ phones might be stored, how staff will ensure compliance and whether all parents will even offer support. In truth, these should present only trifling challenges.

“We are working on this issue, and it can take different forms,” Blanquer said. “You may need a mobile phone, for example for educational purposes, for emergency situations” so perhaps the phones can be confined to lockers.