97% of children aged 12-15 have their own mobile phones, going up to 100% for 16-17s. They use a variety of devices and platforms including video games, video-sharing platforms and social media apps. On average: boys play around 4 hours of video games per day while girls play around 2 hours; children aged 7-16 spend just under 3 ½ hours per day online; children aged 4-15 spend just under six hours per week watching video content. Additionally, 62% of 7-16s have access to their mobile phones at all times, which means they may spend more time than is recorded.
In the same report from Ofcom as the above, 40% of parents say they struggle to manage their child’s screen time. Support from schools is vital in helping children understand how to balance screen use.
Balanced screen use means using devices for different purposes. This may be playing video games or browsing social media but could also include completing homework, doing school work, learning new skills, practising wellbeing and more. It also means taking breaks from digital to focus on offline activities like school, spending time with family and friends, staying active and more.
In our report created with TikTok, we found that most teens are aware of their need to manage their screen time. They do so through a variety of methods including screen time apps. While they recognise they may need some support, they want the ability for flexibility. Teaching teens how to find balance is an important skill they can take with them beyond school.
Secondary school resources to support children