Children speak about an "avalanche of pressure" in the first year of secondary school, to be popular and successful on social media: banning phones can relieve this.
Pupils in schools where smartphones are banned like being free of the associated pressures, England's Children's Commissioner Anne Longfield said this month, giving evidence about the impact of social media and screen use on young people's health.
Longfield said schools across England should have a consistent approach to the use of mobile phones.
She told the Commons Science and Technology Committee that every school seemed to have its own policy on whether pupils could use phones, and that schools could help families if they took a "bold approach".
Appearing as a witness at the select committee, Longfield said research from her office had shown that children's social media use increased dramatically when they made the transition between primary and secondary school.
She said children spoke to her about an "avalanche of pressure", particularly in the first year of secondary school, to be popular and successful on social media.
"The huge message for me out of that was to prepare children in Year 6, at primary school.
"I've seen some really good examples where you've got secondary-school-age children going back to primary schools and saying, 'If I'd have known this, then this would have really helped', and I think the peer education is a really important part of the whole solution as well."
Longfield said schools took very different approaches over the use of smartphones during the school day.
"It couldn't be something you could impose without being able to bring people with you to really make it effective, but I think there's a real role here for school to be brave and bold and have that leadership with families about access to screens in schools."
"Every school is different, every school will have some kind of policy.
"Some of it is, 'Keep it in your bag if you can', some are quite off-hand with it, some say, 'No smartphones in school', but they allow the old brick phones in, you know, a little £10 phone so you can make phones calls.
"But I've been to schools where they don't even allow that during school time.
"There's a school in north London that does this and the children I spoke to - they worked with teachers and worked with parents on this - actually like that time in school where they don't have those pressures.
"I would like there to be a commitment that there is consistency across schools in that it isn't relying on the will of the school or the interests of the school."
She added: "It couldn't be something you could impose without being able to bring people with you to really make it effective, but I think there's a real role here for school to be brave and bold and have that leadership with families about access to screens in schools."
- National Apprenticeship Week: target of 26,000 apprenticeships in Scotland
- Brexit could cost 50,000 manufacturing apprenticeships
- At just 13, girls are more likely than boys to think that university is important
- Women in Tech: Apprentice Wins National Award
- Richer Pupils more than twice as likely to take the right A-levels to get into University
- Labour Party will Cut Tuition Fees by £3K if it Wins the Election
- Top UK employers for school leavers: finalists announced
- Report Shows Many Graduates Earning Less than Apprentices
- What’s in the Green Party Manifesto for School Leavers?
- Citizenship education can ensure school leavers are active members of society & end inequality