The Minister for Education has refused to rule out the possibility of banning mobile phones in Irish schools.
A ban on mobile phones in both primary and secondary schools is set to be introduced in France next term.
The possibility of a similar ban being introduced here was raised as concern about the negative impact of social media on children’s mental health grows in the face of new research which showed one in five children have suffered cyberbullying and 13% have sent nude pictures or videos of themselves to others.
Minister Bruton said parents increasingly fear ‘phones are preventing their children from exercising and interacting with other kids.
He told the Irish Daily Mail: ‘We’ll have to think about the approach.
‘At the moment it’s down to the individual board of management to decide what policies they pursue.’
‘But we are providing very strong supports to schools in making those decisions.’
He said there is little doubt the public is becoming much more concerned about the potential unsafe use of social media.
Minister Bruton said an outright ban is not being considered now but said: ‘I won’t rule anything out. Like anything you will want to see evidence.’
Students are currently not allowed bring phones into the classroom but under the new rules phones will no longer be permitted at breaks, lunch times and between lessons.