A Sussex MP in the Department for Education has said mobile phones should be banned from schools.
Speaking to the BBC, Nick Gibb - who is also minister for school standards in England - said: "Many schools have already taken the decision to ban mobile phones from the classroom.
"While this is clearly a matter for the head teacher, my own view is that schools should ban their pupils from bringing smartphones into school or the classroom."
Mr Gibb, who has been at the Department for Education for more than six years, spoke out ahead of the government publishing new guidance to schools. This was expected to cover issues regarding internet safety, social media and online gaming.
He went on to say: "Children should not be spending hours and hours on their smartphones or iPads. There are obviously huge benefits to the internet and there's nothing intrinsically damaging about spending time online.
"But if the time children spend using social media or playing computer games becomes excessive, it drives out time for them to talk to their parents, exercise, do their homework or play with friends.
"It eats into the amount of sleep and rest children have, resulting in their coming into school the next day tired and unable to concentrate."
He added: "Ensuring children can regulate their own use of smartphones and social media is becoming an increasingly important life skill for them to learn."
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