Schools will have to come up with a policy on the issue

The Education Minister has told schools they need to consult with parents on smartphone use in the classroom.

Richard Bruton issued a circular today saying each school will need to assess the issue and produce a policy on them.

The circular issued by the Department requires all schools to consult with parents, teachers and students on the use of smart phones and tablets.

Each school will then have to use the feedback to come up with their own policy and decide whether to allow them, ban them or come down somewhere in between.

Some of the things they'll be required to consider will be the appropriate use of phones and tablets in classrooms, what rules they'll have about taking photos and videos in the school, and what restrictions will be in place.

For example should there be age restrictions, should phones be allowed at break time or during lunch, or should they be banned from the school grounds altogether.