‘No Screen Time Day’ will take place on Wednesday 20 November across all schools and early learning and childcare settings in East Ayrshire.
Screen time and its effects on development have been an issue of interest for some time now, and there is evidence to suggest that increased screen time can have a negative effect on attention, speech and listening skills; children’s weight, movement and cognitive abilities; as well as behavioural, social and emotional issues.
The initiative has been jointly co-ordinated by East Ayrshire Speech and Language Therapy Team and East Ayrshire Council. Councillor Fiona Campbell, Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning, East Ayrshire Council welcomed the move. She said: “This is a great initiative, and one which has already been successfully piloted in a couple of our establishments. The screen-free day will encourage pupils, parents and teachers to engage more with each other and rediscover the art of meaningful conversation. I look forward to hearing how the schools take this forward.”
It’s hoped that ‘No Screen Time Day’ will raise awareness of the positives of reducing screen time and increasing social face-to-face interactions, and play-based interactions which are particularly crucial for early language development.
Research shows that prolonged time spent in front of screens and on social media can negatively affect their sleep, which can have a knock on effect on health, well-being, education and relationships with friends and family.
(Source: Ofcom, 2019; Scott, Biello & Woods 2019)