Screen Time: Impacts on education and wellbeing

ASCL response to Education Select Committee inquiry Screen Time: Impacts on education and wellbeing. 
There are significant, and growing, concerns among educators about the impact of screen time on children. Excessive use of screens can limit children’s play, exercise, sleep and overall wellbeing, and there is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that this can lead to negative habits for a lifetime.  

The access even very young children now have to the internet is leading to uncharted territory. Platforms such as YouTube and TikTok have become the daily diet for many young children. A 2022 article in the Guardian highlighted how commonplace it is for three- and four-year-olds to use TikTok, and how this short-form content has fuelled concerns about the negative impact of the dopamine rush. 

Recent research from Ofcom has found that a fifth of three- to four-year-olds now have a phone of their own. 69% are regularly using phone handsets to go online, including on borrowed devices, while 92% are watching video streaming platforms. Increasingly, children as young as two have easy access to inappropriate content. 

Full response to consultation