Mobile phones are set to be banned in schools in England to reduce distractions for pupils and improve behaviour.

The Department for Education has outlined new guidance that will give powers to head teachers to ban smartphones during school hours.

The ban will also extend to break times.

The move is designed to combat disruptive behaviour and the negative influences of social media.

School behaviour advisor, Tom Bennett, says the new rules are a “positive and progressive” step in the right direction.

He believes removing mobile devices will create an environment where students can simply focus on working, learning, and growing.

Bennett added: “Schools that have already banned them report that students are safer, happier and able to focus far more than they were before- and it’s popular with them too.”

England won’t be the first country to prohibit smartphone usage; several other countries including France, Portugal and Italy already have bans in place.

The guidance follows warnings from the United Nations about the risks that rising digital screen times can have on children and adolescents.

The UK government’s own research found three in ten pupils admit to using devices when they shouldn’t during the lesson.

The real figure is likely to be much higher.

The guidance will also cover exemptions for the ban such as when a pupil may need to access an app for medical reasons.

Mr Bennett is currently heading a behavioural task force to tackle disruptive behaviour.

The government is investing around £10m to improve conditions for both pupils and teachers across the country.