David Lammy: Ban smartphone use in schools

30 October 2021, 20:54 | Updated: 30 October 2021, 21:45

By Tim Dodd

This was David Lammy's argument for a ban on smartphone use in schools in order to improve young people's mental health.

It comes as a coalition of schools set up to improve children’s mental health have said classrooms should be "phone free sanctuaries".

The group includes prestigious private schools such as Eton, Westminster, Wycombe Abbey and St Paul’s, who are calling for the government to invest £11.6 million a year from 2023 onwards to increase the number of school counsellors and specialist teachers.

David told listeners: "The broader issue has got to be about young people's mental health.

"We've got suicide, sadly, as a problem. We've got self-harm as a growing problem with our young women in society. This is all desperately, desperately worrying."

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David then outlined his position on smartphone use in schools: "I've got to say, my broad view is ban smartphone use in schools.

"Politicians have let parents down. This stuff should be regulated, and I have absolutely no doubt in a decade or so, it will be better regulated."

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He continued: "At the moment it's like the wild west, and the pressure on parents to determine whether kids can have it or not is too great, and I suspect the pressure on teachers is too great.

"Where is this Online Harms Bill that the government said that they were going to bring forward? We are still waiting on it."