Four in 10 children take at least one electronic device to school
Half of parents want their child’s school to ban mobile phones, according to new research from price comparison site uSwitch.
The amount of spending on electronic devices before the new term is also set to increase on previous years.
The research found that 40 per cent of children take at least one electronic gadget to school every day, while 18 per cent take at least two.
Of those, 56 per cent take a smartphone to school. Just over a quarter of pupils (26 per cent) don’t bring any devices with them.
Parents are expected to spend £1.4 billion on electronic devices before the new term, an increase on £1.2 billion. Some 2.3 million children are being bought a new smartphone.
uSwitch mobiles expert Ernest Doku said: “It’s a mark of our always-connected times that half of pupils now have their own smartphone, and the number of gadgets that schoolchildren are carrying into class every day is mind-boggling.
“It is understandable that parents are concerned about the potential distractions facing their children, but banning phones from schools is not as straightforward as it sounds, especially since technology is an integral part of modern life.
“Children are very likely to be using a whole range of gadgets when they enter the world of work, and school is one place where they should be able to learn about technology in a safe environment.
“In addition, many parents want the peace of mind of being able to contact their children in emergencies and find out where they are if they don’t appear at home at the usual time, whether by calling them or by using an app like Apple’s Find My Phone.
“Striking the right balance is an impossible task for parents and teachers, but with the arrival of 5G, the world is going to become increasingly connected, and schoolchildren need to be able to deal with the tech-filled environment they’re growing up in.”
27 per cent of parents said they had considered downgrading their child’s smartphone to a feature phone to remove potential distractions.