Insights UK Parliament Education Committee launches inquiry into effects of screen time on education and wellbeing


The introduction to the inquiry announcement refers to detailed research by Ofcom which established that connected devices and social media sites are widely used by children, as well as evidence that social media platforms are used by criminal gangs for grooming children, and that children are exposed to or are seeking out online porn, sometimes from an early age. Whilst technology has contributed to huge advances in helping children with communication and proper access to information (not least from remote learning during the pandemic), the Committee is concerned by evidence of the risks to children of too much or unsupervised access to online platforms.

The Committee is now seeking views on how apps, the internet and access to smartphones and tablets can impact children’s education and wellbeing. As part of the inquiry, the Committee intends to hear the latest research on the risks and benefits to children of screen time and will examine current practices used by schools, and guidance offered to families, on how to manage children’s use of online resources and social media. In addition, the Committee invites written evidence from academics, experts, education and health professionals and industry on various issues including the current understanding of the impact of screen time on children’s development, educational outcomes and wellbeing, the effectiveness of current digital safety education and support for parents and schools, how screen use as an academic tool is being managed in schools for lessons or homework, and the extent to which schools are reliant on external resources, such as Google, for educational activities.

For more information and to access the Call for Evidence, which closes on 16 October 2023, click here.