Will you sign our urgent letter to Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer?

Almost eight out of ten parents of primary school children told us they would support a ban on smartphones for under-16s, with 83% of all parents telling us they think smartphones are harmful to children.

In a recent Parentkind opinion poll, 83% of 2,496 parents surveyed said they think smartphones are harmful to children, with almost eight out of ten parents of primary school children telling us they would support a ban on smartphones for under-16s.

Because parents tell us this matters to them, we have taken urgent action. This morning we published an open letter to Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer asking them to tell parents what they plan to do to protect children from the worst of social media, as well as their views on a smartphone ban for children under 16.

We’re asking Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer:

  • What will you do to restrict children’s use of smartphones, inside and outside of school, if you become Prime Minister?
  • Will you introduce legislation to restrict the use of smartphones for under 16s?
  • Will you get tough on tech firms by forcing them to use the latest Facial Recognition Technology to turn a smartphone into a dumb phone’, without access to social media apps and age-inappropriate content for children under the age of 16?

But we need your help to make them listen. By signing our open letter below, you’ll show the party leaders that this issue really matters to parents.

Sign the open letter

Dear Rishi and Keir,

What is your position on smartphones, social media, and children? 

In a recent Parentkind opinion poll 83% of 2,496 parents surveyed said they believed that smartphones are harmful to children.

Almost eight out of ten parents of primary school children told us they would support a ban on smartphones for under-16s. So far there has been little response from any of the main parties. This is your chance to set the record straight.

The evidence is increasingly clear that smartphone and social media addiction is dangerous and harming young people.

1 in 5 older teenagers say that social media has led them to think that life is not worth living.”

We estimate that over 400,000 older teenagers are receiving suicide and self-harm content every month and nearly half of teenage girls told us they have received unwanted sexual images or messages from strangers through their smartphones.

One of you will become the Prime Minister in a few weeks’ time and we are asking you to help children learn how to enjoy life again and give them their childhood back.

We want to know:

  • What will you do to restrict the use of smartphones by children, inside and outside of school, if you become Prime Minister? 
  • Will you introduce legislation to restrict the use of smartphones for under 16s?
  • Will you get tough on tech firms by forcing them to use the latest Facial Recognition Technology to turn a smartphone into a dumb phone” without access to social media apps and age inappropriate content for children under the age of 16?

Parentkind’s membership of 13,000 parent groups wants to hear from you during this election campaign.

We want to share your response with parents so they know where you stand ahead if you become Prime Minister.

Yours sincerely,

Jason Elsom, Parentkind CEO signature

Jason Elsom, Chief Executive, Parentkind

Promoted by Frank Young on behalf of Parentkind both of 16 Old Queen Street, London, SW1H 9HP.

Parentkind General Election manifesto 

Parentkind talks to politicians from all parties. We regularly meet with ministers across the UK to ensure their voice is heard in the corridors of power. To make the case for parents in the upcoming General Election, we have published our manifesto, which has been sent to all the party leaders.

The Parentkind General Election manifesto is our call to action for the next government. The manifesto is a six-point plan, based on our research with parents — it is what they tell us matters to them.

Read the manifesto

Sign the open letter