Pupils will be officially banned from taking mobile phones to collège or école from September 2018, Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer has said.
Many schools and colleges already operate their own bans while current education laws already outlaw their use during classes, but the government will make the ban total at the start of the new school year, Mr Blanquer told Le Grand Jury programme on RTL/LCI.
The ban was a campaign promise of President Emmanuel Macron.
Mr Blanquer also said he was in favour of allowing schools to introduce a uniform if they so decided.
According to a 2015 study, some 80% of teenagers had their own smartphones, compared to 20% in 2011. Today, primary school pupils are increasingly carrying phones.
But the implementation of such a ban could be complex, teachers' unions have warned - with parents keen to be able to contact their children outside school, as well as the practical issues of ensuring students are not carrying phones.