SCHOOLS and nurseries are set to ban tablets and devices in East Ayrshire.

It is hoped the innovative move will encourage kids to talk more.

It comes as children’s’ speech skills are being ‘hampered’ after spending too much time on smartphones, games consoles and tablets, research has shown.

Calls have been made for East Ayrshire Council to run the ‘No Screens Day’ every week.

A report presented to councillors said: “Early years staff report significant impact on children’s development as a result of increased screen time.”

The council’s strategic education manager Janie Allen told councillors it is about having face to face-to-face conversations rather than looking at mobiles and screens.

She  pointed to US research which revealed increases in handheld screen time cause bigger risks of speech delay.

The ‘No Screens Day’ will take place on Wednesday, November 20 after being approved at a cabinet meeting last week.

Councillor Neil McGhee (Labour) said: “I think this is desperately needed and it is a step in the right direction.

“I am disappointed it has taken so long to be acted on.”

He continued: “The digital era is going too fast for some people, in particular children.”

Councillor Fiona Campbell (SNP) described the evidence of the negative impact of screens as “shocking.”

Some nurseries in East Ayrshire have already asked parents to stop using phones when they pick up their kids.

SNP councillor Gordon Jenkins suggested time-out for screens once a week while the meeting heard the November date is an evaluation exercise.

Councillor Clare Maitland (SNP) said: “I was disappointed it was going to be only one day.”

Pointing out the positives of technology, she said children are also interactive on devices.

She added: “It is about building in good practice.”