Education, independence and safety: When should a child get their first mobile phone?

With the new school year just weeks away, families have been sharing their views on when a child should get their first mobile phone.

Monday, 23rd August 2021, 12:51 pm

Prior to the summer break, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson outlined a review into behaviour at schools, calling on teachers to share their experiences with the Department for Education on a number of topics.

Among them, the use of mobile phones by pupils during the school day.

In a Government statement published at the time, Mr Williamson said: “Mobile phones are not just distracting, but when misused or overused, they can have a damaging effect on a pupil’s mental health and wellbeing.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Readers have been sharing their views on when a child should get their own mobile phone. Picture: Pixabay.

"I want to put an end to this, making the school day mobile-free.”

From embracing technology to giving a child more independence, this is what readers thought about when is the best time for that first mobile phone.

This is what you said on our social media pages:

Jayne Jones: “I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer here. It’s down to each individual and their circumstances.

"We’re in a different generation so what would be ‘unacceptable’ a while back wouldn’t necessarily be the case now.”

Laura Parvia: “We will be getting my daughter one for her birthday as she will be turning 11. Ready to start comp and have a little more independence.”

Lauren Clarke: “A basic one that just can text and ring people from the age that an individual’s child starts to walk home from school or makes plans with friends to go out further then your block/street.”

Chloe Rebekah: “It’s an increasingly technological world we live in, so rather than try and stop it I say celebrate all of the benefits that come with it - there are so many educational apps and videos and programmes available for them to access.”

Dawn Outlaw: “I think if they play out, they should have a mobile should they run into trouble. Nothing expensive, just something that they can call for help on.”

Treena Marshall: “Ask me this question five year ago I would have said about 13, 14, this day and age I would say about eight, but limited access to certain media platforms, very isolated world these days without a phone.”

Emma L. Ibinson: “I got mine when I started secondary school (didn’t have smart phones so it was only to text and ring home). Just to let the family know when I was nearly home and near school.”

John Hunter: “When they can afford to pay for it.”

Susan Tunkkari: “All children are different and have different circumstances.”

Jason Lewis: “Any age because it can be good for children. This interaction is good for the brain, it’s down to the parents to educate the child the right way.”

Tom Le Bon: “There is so much unrestricted media content available to children and mobiles should be monitored by parents/carers.

"Mobiles should be banned throughout the school day, less distribution and distraction more concentration on learning.”

Tracy Brewis: “Now it’s not safe for kids to be without them.”

Enjoy our headlines with fewer distractions and sign up to a digital subscription today - fewer ads, faster load times and all of the stories you need.

Your support for our journalism means we can continue supporting our communities for generations to come.

Click ‘Subscribe’ in the menu to find out more and sign up.