A union spokesperson suggested a blanket ban would not work

Schools will be required to consult with parents and pupils on the use of smartphones in schools.

The Education Minister will send out a circular to all schools immediately telling them smart phones are an item requiring consultation.

The Parent and Student Charter Bill, if enacted, will require every school to consult with parents and pupils on key issues - such as school costs, complaint procedures, and school policies ranging from admission to school performance.

Schools will now also receive a circular from Minister Richard Bruton in the coming days requiring them to consult with parents, teachers and pupils on the appropriate use of smart phones and tablets in schools.

That includes what devices are allowed, if they can be used for photos and videos, and if age restrictions will apply to younger pupils.

Minister Bruton argued: “The use of smart phones and tablet devices by our young people is an area that has increasingly caused concern.

"New technologies are fundamentally transforming the world we live in. These changes offer fantastic opportunities for our young people but also pose potential risks, which we as a government must respond to."

A spokesperson for the Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI), however, said most schools already have rules on smartphones - adding that a blanket ban wouldn’t work.