Chancellor Jeremy Hunts says tearing children away from phone screens is ‘nightmare’

Chancellor Jeremy Hunts says tearing children away from phone screens is ‘nightmare’

The Chancellor has described the “nightmare” he has tearing his children away from their phone and iPad screens as plans for a ban on mobiles in the classroom were expected to be announced.

Jeremy Hunt on Tuesday said the devices are "so addictive" and blamed them for distracting his three children at home.

“It is a nightmare extracting my children away from their screens,” he told LBC.

“They are so addictive. I love my children dearly but sometimes when you see them after a long day's work, and they don't want to talk to daddy, they want to talk to their iPad. I don't think it's right.”

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan is set to order schools to outlaw smartphones in the hope it will make it easier for pupils to concentrate.

Some schools already ban the use of mobiles, with pupils required to hand in the devices every day. But others allow phones to be used at break times.

The Government is expected to issue new guidance to schools across England requiring them to take action.

A source told the Daily Mail: “Gillian believes mobile phones pose a serious challenge in terms of distraction, disruptive behaviour and bullying.

“It is one of the biggest issues children and teachers have to grapple with, so she will set out a way forward to empower teachers to ban mobiles from classrooms.”

Mr Hunt added: "I thoroughly agree with this. I think it's the right thing to do. It is the right thing academically, but it's also the right thing socially, because school is the time when the closest and deepest friendships are formed.

“And you can't do that if you're being distracted by a phone.”

The cabinet minister and his wife, Lucia, have three children together. Jack born in 2010, Anna born in 2012 and youngest Eleanor born in 2014.

A UN report earlier this year recommended banning smartphones from schools. It suggested the move would tackle classroom disruption, improve learning and help protect children from bullying.