‘The negative impacts of screen use must not be overlooked or ignored’ – NAHT respond to report

The education committee has released a report on the impact of screen time on children’s education and wellbeing.

Responding to the report, Sarah Hannafin, head of policy at school leaders’ union NAHT, said: “Most research paints a mixed picture of the effects of screen and social media use on children and young people.

“There is a general consensus that digital content and the amount of time children spend online can have positive, as well as harmful impacts on their mental health and wellbeing.

“The negative impacts of screen use must not be overlooked or ignored – but the reality is that children and young people need to be able to interact with and understand the boundaries of an increasingly digital world.

“It is critical that children and young people are taught to develop positive relationships with technology, such as how to use it for learning and relaxing, to help them identify when they are not having ‘quality’ or safe screen time, and to deal appropriately with this.

“More must be done to ensure that parents and carers can effectively recognise areas of risk and understand how best to help develop their children’s digital experience. We therefore welcome the recommendation that the next government should work across departments to produce guidance for parents on how to best manage and understand the impact of screen time on their children.

“We said when the guidance on mobile phones was announced that most schools already have clear policies around mobile phone use and review them regularly. Schools have been dealing with these challenges for many years.

“Individual schools know their pupils and communities, so are best placed to develop their own policies when it comes to mobile phones, according to what works for them and for pupils’ education and wellbeing.”

To read more about the harmful effects of social media on young people, click here.

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