A school in Co Kerry has introduced a ban on mobile phones and social media apps outside school hours, with the full support of parents.

St Brendan's National School in Blennerville, near Tralee, initiated the 11-week pilot programme after issues were raised over messaging groups that children in Sixth Class were accessing.

Inappropriate comments and content on Snapchat and Instagram groups were being circulated between pupils aged 11 and 12 and the children were involved in groups where teenagers were also participating.

Principal Terry O'Sullivan said parents and teachers were very surprised with what was going on.

The school is a digital school and uses iPads as educational tools but all technology is used under supervision, he said.

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At a meeting of staff, parents and the board of management last week it was agreed that the use of phones and social media apps would be banned outside school hours.

There was already a ban on phones during school hours.

"We are not anti-iPads. You have to embrace the digital era. We use iPads here in school ... but they must be monitored, they must be supervised," Mr O'Sullivan said.

He said parents have told him that they have noticed an improvement in their children's moods and behaviour since the out-of-hours technology ban was introduced, with children being more active and playing board games and getting involved with other social activities.