CEOP

Places deadline: Top tips on choosing a school (15/01/2018)

Parents of rising-fives in England have until midnight tonight to apply for primary school places for their children. It can be a tense time, with the most popular schools often massively oversubscribed. In some areas, high-performing schools can be thin on the ground, with warnings of a postcode lottery when it comes to access. On top of this, a sharp increase in pupil numbers in recent years has made the primary school admissions process increasingly tense.

Full story: BBC

CEOP

'Being a teenage mother is so lonely' (15/01/2018)

Teenage pregnancy rates in the UK have halved in the past eight years, but are still among the highest in Europe. New government guidelines are being released to help councils reduce the numbers further. Shannon was 14 and her boyfriend Ethan 17 when she became pregnant with their son, Harvey, who is now two. "Being a parent is one of the loneliest places I've been. You lose a lot of your friends, they don't want to focus on this little baby," she says. "You don't want people to see that you're struggling and get the impression that you're a bad mum because you're struggling. It's one of those things you keep in."

Full story: BBC

CYP Now

LGA issues child protection warning over social care funding gap (12/01/2018)

Children could be left in circumstances of risk unless the government acts to plug an estimated £2bn funding gap, councils have warned. The Local Government Association (LGA) said that children's services in England now receive a new referral every 49 seconds and now the government needs to provide more money to help councils meet the demand for social care. It has warned that, unless more funding is forthcoming, social workers will struggle to deal with current levels of child protection concerns, meaning children could be left in potentially dangerous circumstances.

Full story: Children and Young People Now

CYP Now

Lack of duty on schools 'could compromise safeguarding shake-up' (12/01/2018)

Government plans to overhaul local child safeguarding arrangements risk being compromised by a failure to involve schools, council leaders have warned. Both the Local Government Association (LGA) and Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS) have issued the warning in response to government proposals to abolish local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) and replace them with a new system of multi-agency arrangements. These would involve councils, police and health organisations as core partners but not schools, according to proposed changes to Working Together guidance designed to pave the way for the new arrangements.

Full story: Children and Young People Now

Fixers

Getting Serious About Mental Health (12/01/2018)

A young man from Southport, who has battled depression and anxiety, is showing that mental health is just as important as physical health. Matthew Bousfield, 17, is concerned that others with similar experiences to his aren’t taken seriously enough, which can make the problem worse. He has now created a powerful film with Fixers, encouraging people to take more notice of mental wellbeing so others can get help sooner.

Full story: Fixers

Guardian

Bullying as damaging as child abuse – and needs same resources, expert says (12/01/2018)

Patrick McGorry has warned bullying can be as damaging for youth mental health as child abuse, while calling for a major expansion of support services following Amy “Dolly” Everett’s death. McGorry, a former Australian of the year and youth mental health expert, said the behavioural and cultural change needed to reduce bullying would require a “large-scale social movement”, similar to those targeting family violence, child abuse, and sexual harassment.

Full story: Guardian

Community Care

Social workers could use social media checks to ‘enhance’ assessments, serious case review says (11/01/2018)

Social workers could “enhance” their assessments of families by using social media, a serious case review has said. The review into the death of a two-year-old boy said: “Checks on the internet and social media can provide publicly available information about lifestyle and relationships to inform assessments.” The review cited the example of an “exorcism video” of the boy’s mother being found by the press after his death, which it said could have been found by an internet search during work with the family.

Full story: Community Care

CYP Now

Girls 'twice as likely' to experience emotional problems as boys (11/01/2018)

Girls are more than twice as likely to experience emotional problems as boys, according to the initial findings of a £56m programme aimed at improving mental health support for young people. The Big Lottery Fund's five-year HeadStart programme, which launched last year, is designed to help improve the mental health resilience of 10- to 16-year-olds in schools across six council areas. The first piece of research from the programme, involving a survey of more than 30,000 pupils aged between 11 and 14 at participating HeadStart schools, found that 25 per cent of girls said they had experienced emotional problems, compared with 11 per cent of boys.

Full story: Children and Young People Now

Community Care

Child on parent violence: ‘The reality is that this issue remains in the shadows of work with families’ (11/01/2018)

At Community Care Live in September I asked a room full of over 200 social workers if they knew of – or worked with – children who were sometimes violent to their families, carers or parents. Without pause the overwhelming majority of them raised their hands. It was a rhetorical question with limited risk of getting a silent ‘no’ as there has been a resounding ‘yes’ from professionals that we’ve asked that question to over the last year. I, along with colleagues, have been asking this question since the release of the reports authored by Dr Wendy Thorley of Sunderland University based on the 2016 child on parent violence survey.

Full story: Community Care

TES

Using ADHD drugs to control 'non-compliant' pupils is 'inhumane', say experts (11/01/2018)

The use of ADHD drugs like Ritalin to control "non-compliant" pupils is “politically totalitarian, physiologically inhumane” and reminiscent of Stalin’s Russia, leading educational psychologists have said. They add that such treatment should be considered the safeguarding responsibility of all professionals involved in the affected child’s care – including teachers. The British Psychological Society’s division of educational and child psychology has produced a paper outlining its position on the use of drugs to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The paper states: “If we had read…that children in Stalin’s schools…were being forced to take mind-drugs that made them compliant in school, we might have been indignantly outraged, morbidly fascinated but unsurprised.

Full story: TES

TES

Fraudsters are intercepting school fee payments, warns Charity Commission (11/01/2018)

Fraudsters are placing themselves in the middle of transactions between parents and independent schools, the Charity Commission has said. The regulator said fraudsters were contacting parents, outlining details and payment instructions for the latest school fees. Initial contact appears to be made primarily via email and often from the school's compromised email system. The National Fraud Investigation Bureau has also seen instances where the email address used is similar to – but not the same – as that of a school. For example, it might use "nn" in place of an "m".

Full story: TES

Youth Justice Legal centre Guide to Modern Slavery and County Lines (11/01/2018)

This YJLC guide will assist lawyers and professionals to recognise and assist children who may be the victims of child criminal exploitation (CCE), with a focus on the widespread problem of criminal exploitation of children by county lines gangs and the statutory defence under section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015.

Full story: Youth Justice Legal centre

CYP Now

Councils to probe state of SEND system (10/01/2018)

Councils are set to investigate the state of the system for providing support for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) to see if it can be improved. The probe, which will be conducted by the Local Government Association (LGA), will review the role of councils, central government, health and other partners in delivering SEND support. It will also look into rising demand for support and the reasons behind it, whether current funding levels are adequate, and what effective multi-agency work to support children and young people with SEND looks like.

Full story: Children and Young People Now

CYP Now

Support for deaf children 'in crisis', study finds (08/01/2018)

Educational support for deaf children is in "complete disarray" with the number of specialist teachers falling 14 per cent since 2011 despite rising numbers of deaf children, a survey has claimed. Research by the Consortium for Research in Deaf Education (Cride) found that while the number of deaf children in England has risen 31 per cent since 2011 to 45,631 the number of full-time equivalent specialist teachers employed as of January 2017 had fallen by 148 to 914 in the same period.

Full story: Children and Young People Now

CEOP

Acid attacks: Retailers sign up to voluntary ban on acid sales (07/01/2018)

Some of the UK's largest retailers have agreed to voluntarily stop sales of acids to customers under 18 years old. The move comes amid continuing concern over the use of corrosive substances as a weapon. In the year to last April, police recorded more than 500 attacks in England and Wales, double the number five years ago, with the majority of incidents in London. A fifth of attackers who had been identified were under 18 years old.

Full story: BBC