The government is set to issue new guidance across England to ban mobile phones from schools, Sky News understands.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan will make the announcement later today during the Conservative Party conference, which is being held in Manchester this week.

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She will recommend the devices are prohibited not just in the classroom, but at break times as well.

However, the proposal has raised some eyebrows around the event, as many schools have already instituted a ban.

As it will just be guidance, the new rule would also not be enforceable, meaning it will still be up to individual schools to decide on their policy.

It is also unclear when the guidance will be published.

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It is not the first time a Tory minister has suggested a ban, with schools minister Nick Gibb making the call for one in 2019 and Sir Gavin Williamson following suit in 2021.

But a consultation by the Department for Education on a ban in 2022 concluded most schools “have well developed plans in place” to tackle the issue, adding: “Further intervention from government isn’t necessary.”

The general secretary of teaching union NASUWT, Dr Patrick Roach, said: “The government needs to focus on properly supporting the work of teachers and headteachers rather than announcements designed to detract attention from more than a decade of policy failure.

“If the government introduces blanket bans that are unenforceable, this will make the behaviour crisis [in schools] worse, not better.”

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