15/10/2019: Home education a ‘huge undertaking for parents’ – Ofsted
Home education for many families is not a preferred choice but a last resort amid a breakdown in relationships with schools, Ofsted inspectors have warned. . . . Research by Ofsted found special needs, problems with a child’s behaviour or wellbeing were the most common reasons. England’s schools watchdog says parents need better advice about the cost and responsibilities of home educating and should be made aware of alternatives.
15/10/2019: Career ambitions ‘already limited by age of seven’
By the age of seven, children are already facing limits on their future aspirations in work, according to a report from the OECD international economics think . . . tank. Andreas Schleicher, the OECD’s director of education and skills, says “talent is being wasted” because of ingrained stereotyping about social background, gender and race.
15/10/2019: Vaping: ‘I’m 17, and rarely ID’d for e-cigs’
Almost 40% of sellers targeted by councils in England have been caught illegally allowing children to buy e-cigarette products, a report has found. Ninety of . . . the 227 premises tested sold vaping goods to under-age teenagers in 2018-19, data from 34 councils showed. Trading Standards – which compiled the research – has called for greater resources to enforce the law.
15/10/2019: Parents ‘home school’ truants to escape fines
Parents are claiming their children are home-schooled to dodge fines for truancy. Families can be charged £60 if a pupil skips school without permission. . . . Failure to pay can lead to prosecution and even jail. An Ofsted report has found that the threat of fines and court encourages some parents to pull out of formal schooling altogether.
Daily Mail
15/10/2019: Pupils being propelled out of school system ‘in space of a day’
Pupils in England are being propelled out of schools and into home education, sometimes in the space of a single day, with little or no discussion beforehand . . . and often without consulting the child, according a report by the schools watchdog.
15/10/2019: Education sector yet to learn lessons of #MeToo, critics say
Just over three years ago, a report by the Commons women and equalities committee uncovered the alarming scale of sexual harassment and sexual violence in . . . schools across England. It began in primary school, where girls were too scared to wear skirts in case their pants were pulled down, and continued through secondary school, where girls had their bottoms slapped, skirts flicked, were called names, bullied over nude pictures shared on social media, assaulted and raped.

15/10/2019: Care for mental health patients has deteriorated in England, regulators say

The quality of care provided at inpatient units across England for those with mental health, learning disability and autism has deteriorated in the last year, regulators have said… And 7% of child and adolescent mental health inpatient services were rated inadequate, up on 3% the year before.

Read: Sky

14/10/2019: Mentally ill students risk academic penalties for missing classes

Students missing classes because of mental health problems risk being penalised with academic sanctions at some leading British universities, while others have no standardised policies in place to help students showing signs of distress, the Guardian has found. Of the 21 leading universities that responded to a freedom of information request, only one in four said they had standardised intervention policies under which campus support services will contact students if they miss a defined number of classes.

Read: Guardian

14/10/2019: Twice as many children waiting to be adopted as families to adopt

More than twice as many children are waiting to be adopted as there are families willing to adopt, campaigners have warned. Figures from the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB) show there are 4,140 youngsters across England where a decision has been made by authorities that they should be adopted. In comparison, there are about 1,700 families who are approved to adopt and waiting to be matched with children.

Read: Guardian

14/10/2019: Number of British modern slavery victims up 72% in a year, figures show

The number of British people identified as modern slavery victims has surged by 72 per cent in a year, according to figures, fuelling concerns about “county lines” drugs gangs and other forms of labour exploitation. An analysis of data by The Independent shows the number of UK nationals recorded as being potential victims of trafficking increased from 1,246 in 2017-18 to 2,143 in 2018-19 – with the proportion of all victims who are British up from 21 per cent to 26 per cent in one year.

Read: Independent

14/10/2019: LGBT lesson protesters ‘inciting hatred’, headteacher tells court

The headteacher of a primary school at the centre of a row over lessons about same-sex relationships has told a court that “protesters are inciting hatred”. Sarah Hewitt-Clarkson was giving evidence at a hearing to determine whether demonstrations should be permanently banned from directly outside Anderton Park Primary School in Birmingham.

Read: Sky

13/10/2019: Families in England hit by 70% cut in school uniform grant

Support offered to families to help with the cost of school uniforms has plummeted, with the vast majority unable to access any help at all, according to new analysis. Financial aid for uniforms has fallen by more than 70% across England since 2010. More than 80% of cash-strapped local councils now offer no assistance, blaming years of cuts.

Read: Guardian

13/10/2019: Excluded: former pupils in spotlight in play about school system

In a Victorian Gothic church behind Harrods in west London, a group of young people from troubled backgrounds have gathered to rehearse a play about school. Excluded is a new production, set in a turbulent GCSE class in a London secondary school in 2019, that attempts to shine a light on the problems faced by vulnerable young people within the education system.

Read: Guardian

13/10/2019: Teachers living in sheds, cars and using food banks as demand for grants rises,

Teachers are living in sheds, cars and eating out of food banks as the number of professionals seeking vital financial support has surged, a charity has warned. Hundreds of teachers and support staff are at risk of losing their home or being unable to pay rent, according to the Education Support Partnership, a charity that provides emergency grants

Read: Independent

13/10/2019: Abusive men using child contact as way to carry on subjecting women to domestic abuse

Thousands of domestic abusers are preying on their victims during meetings with their children ordered by the family courts, The Independent can reveal. Women are being subjected to coercive control, and physical and even sexual assault from their ex-partners when children are being picked up or dropped off. Campaigners say abusers also carry on terrorising their victims during child custody battles in the family courts and harassing them via emails, and report the problem is getting worse.

Read: Independent

12/10/2019: ‘Trauma-informed teaching matters – but so do rules’

The more experience I gain as a teacher, the more clarity I feel about how to deal with tricky student behaviour, and the less impact it has on me personally. Lots of us have experienced students’ disproportionate rage, surprise aggression, unexplained hostility, often in response to a seemingly benign request. You know the sort of thing. “Can you stop chatting and get on with it, please?” “Put your phone away, please.”

11/10/2019: Social media has ‘little effect on girls’ wellbeing’

Getting enough sleep and seeing friends may have a bigger effect on teenage girls’ mental wellbeing than social media use, a report suggests. The finding comes in the government’s new State of the Nation report, looking at young people’s happiness levels. Social media use in itself was found not to be strongly linked to girls’ mental health unless youngsters were losing sleep or being bullied online.

Read: BBC

11/10/2019: NHS mental health drive ‘not broad enough’, warn children’s services leaders

Plans to improve specialist inpatient support for children with mental health problems do not go far enough, children’s services leaders has warned. On Thursday, NHS chief executive Simon Stevens announced that a new taskforce will be set up to improve current specialist children and young people’s inpatient mental health, autism and learning disability services in England as part of the NHS Long Term Plan.

11/10/2019: One in 10 children ‘removed from school unofficially’, study finds

As many as one in 10 children experienced “unexplained exits” from their school, with the rate being highest in large multi-academy trusts, a major study has found. A report by the Education Policy Institute found that 10.1 per cent of children who finished their GCSEs in 2017 experienced exits at some point during their time at secondary school that “cannot be accounted for”. This totals more than 69,000 unexplained exits by over 61,000 pupils – higher than the 2014 proportion of nine per cent.

11/10/2019: At-risk teenager forced to live on series of caravan parks due to residential care shortage

A 15-year-old feared to be at high risk of sexual exploitation has been forced by residential care shortages to live between a series of Dorset caravan parks, a judge has revealed. In a judgment relating to a final deprivation of liberty order granted in respect of the teenager, ‘A’, Judge Martin Dancey wrote that he was not publishing it to explain his decision but because the “story should be told”.

10/10/2019: Obesity: Ban snacking on public transport, top doctor says

Snacking should be banned on public transport and extra taxes placed on unhealthy foods to tackle child obesity, England’s outgoing chief medical officer says. In her final report as CMO, Dame Sally Davies also called for tighter restrictions on advertising and takeaways. She said families needed more help to make healthier choices.

Read: BBC

10/10/2019: Almost half of children aged 11 to 16 say they have gambled recently

Almost half of children aged 11 to 16 have admitted to gambling recently, with those from minority ethnic backgrounds more likely to have bet money than their white British counterparts, one of the largest studies of its kind has revealed. The study carried out by academics from Cardiff University found 41% had taken part in some sort of gambling within the previous 12 months.

Read: Guardian

10/10/2019: UK suicide rate unexpectedly rose in 2018 after years of steady decline

The suicide rate in England, Wales and Scotland has gone up after years of steady decline and researchers say they cannot explain the “abrupt” and “unexpected” rise. According to the Office for National Statistics in 2018 a total of 6,507 suicides were registered in the UK. That is 686 more deaths than in 2017, an 11.8% increase. Professor Louis Appleby who leads the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England told Sky News: “The 2018 figures show a rise, an abrupt rise actually after a fall, it was unexpected.

Read: Sky

10/10/2019: Mental health: homework ‘linked to unhappiness’

Teenage girls who do six or more hours of homework a week are less happy than those who do not spend as much time studying, according to a major new report on children and young people’s wellbeing. The Department for Education has published its first State of the Nation report on children and young people’s wellbeing today, World Mental Health Day. The research shows that while for girls aged 14-15 having a positive attitude to school is associated with better psychological health, girls who did more homework reported poorer psychological health.

10/10/2019: Most girls have a friend who has self-harmed

Most girls have a friend who has self-harmed, research from Girlguiding Scotland has found. The study also shows a “worrying” 15 per cent of girls and young women aged 7-25 report feeling unhappy most of the time. This finding comes from the Girls in Scotland 2018 survey which captured the views of over 500 girls in Scotland on what it is like growing up as a girl today.

10/10/2019: Health visitors call for extra compulsory visits to help disadvantaged families

Health visitors want the number of statutory visits they make to be ramped up from five to eight to better support disadvantaged families. Currently visits are mandatory when a mother is 24 weeks pregnant, in the first two weeks of their child’s birth then at six to eight weeks from birth. Another check is required when their child is between nine to 12 months old and then finally at two years old.

10/10/2019: Action to better support young people’s mental health

While the majority of children lead happy lives, many are battling or at risk of mental health problems. Two reports released this month to tie-in with World Mental Health Day lay bare the mental health risks that children and young people face and the action needed to help them lead happy lives.

10/10/2019: Cafcass ‘just as busy’ despite falling care applications, says chief

The chief executive of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) Jacky Tiotto says the body has not seen a fall in work despite it dealing with fewer care applications over the past year. Latest figures published by Cafcass, show the service received a total of 1,000 new applications in September 2019 – 5.8 per cent fewer than during the same month in 2018.

10/10/2019: Youth offending schemes share multi-million pound fund

Twenty two projects including local authority-run schemes will share a £16.2m pot aimed at preventing youth offending. In the first grant award round of the £200m Home Office-funded Youth Endowment Fund, the winning schemes range from intensive family therapy to street-based and school mentoring programmes. Some 30,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 14 will receive support from the fund, run by charities the Early Intervention Foundation and Impetus.

10/10/2019: When hard work and sensitivity are not enough in working with vulnerable children

Working with challenging and vulnerable children brings with it a unique set of demands. Sometimes, as a residential worker these demands can be met through sensitive interaction with a young person and a lot of hard work in terms of establishing a rapport with them. On other occasions, however, this process can prove impossible to negotiate, particularly when the child erects a brick wall between you and them and you find it impossible to get round or over it, no matter what you try.

10/10/2019: Young people leaving custody receiving inadequate social care, inspectors warn

Young people leaving custody are receiving inadequate social care support leading to poor resettlement outcomes, a situation that has not improved in four years, inspectors have warned. Of 50 children and young people released from young offender institutions between October 2018 and August 2019, 37 needed social care input, yet only six received adequate support, the probations and prisons inspectorates’ report found.

09/10/2019: Universities ‘must do more to tackle harassment’

Universities must do more to tackle harassment and hate crimes on campus, a report says. Universities UK found good progress had been made in combating sexual misconduct and gender-based violence, since a taskforce was set up in 2016. But less attention was given to other forms of harassment and hate crimes, such as those related to race or faith.

Read: BBC

09/10/2019: Government issues advice on handling school protests

The government has issued advice to local authorities on dealing with protests outside schools over LGBT-inclusive teaching. The 21-page document, seen by the BBC, lays out how councils should support teachers to minimise disruption. It comes after continued protests outside schools in Birmingham against the teaching of LGBT relationships.

Read: BBC

09/10/2019: Children ‘interested in’ gambling and alcohol, according to Facebook

Facebook has marked hundreds of thousands of children as “interested in” adverts about gambling and alcohol, a joint investigation by the Guardian and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation has found. The social network’s advertising tools reveal 740,000 children under the age of 18 are flagged as being interested in gambling, including 130,000 in the UK. Some 940,000 minors – 150,000 of whom are British – are flagged as being interested in alcoholic beverages.

Read: Guardian

09/10/2019: Two-thirds of UK universities bring in sexual consent training – report

Universities in the UK have made progress in dealing with sexual harassment on campus, with nearly two-thirds introducing consent training for students, according to a survey of almost 100 institutions. The research found that universities including Edinburgh, Kent, Durham, Oxford and Soas, University of London were conducting classes to train students in how to seek and recognise sexual consent. At some universities, the courses were mandatory in freshers’ week.

Read: Guardian

08/10/2019: Young gaming addicts able to access specialist NHS treatment for the first time

The NHS is now ready to accept referrals for youngsters addicted to video games. The new service for gaming-addicted youngsters aged 13 to 25, where professionals will be able to hold consultations via Skype, is part of the Centre for Internet and Gaming Disorders.

Read: Sky

08/10/2019: Young criminals ‘set up to fail’ after release from custody say inspectors

Young offenders are being “set up to fail” when released from custody because of a lack of support to help them turn their lives around. The probation and prison watchdogs reviewed the services offered to 50 boys aged 12 to 17 on their release from five young offender institutions (YOI) across England and Wales. All had committed serious crimes or were repeat offenders and had been sentenced to detention and training orders, which meant they served half their time in custody and half in the community.

Read: Sky

08/10/2019: Youth services ‘decimated by £1bn’ of cuts

Youth services in England have been “decimated” by £1bn worth of cuts, a drop of 73 per cent over the last decade, new research from the Labour Party shows. The party’s analysis of Department of Education figures on government spending reveals an “alarming scale” of cuts which it says have resulted in the loss of thousands of youth work jobs and hundreds of youth centres.

08/10/2019: Charity reports further children’s centre cuts

Cuts to council budgets are being blamed for the continuing decline in the number of children’s centres being run by the largest operator of settings in the country. Action for Children ran 120 centres last year but that figure has now slumped to 87. These have been shut down or taken back in-house by councils as they look to tackle “reduced funding from central government”, said the charity.

08/10/2019: Grades falling? How to spot pupils’ gambling problems

Are pupil grades plummeting due to gaming? That’s the question being asked by Cam Adair, an international speaker and author who writes about video games addiction. “Are they [pupils] far more isolated?” he says. “Have they lost interest in all other activities? Does their life revolve around gaming? If they do take a break, are they experiencing withdrawal symptoms – cravings, headaches, boredom, mood swings?”

07/10/2019: The places knife crime is rising fastest

The rate of knife attacks in some regional towns and cities is higher than in many London boroughs, BBC analysis of police figures suggests. Overall, London remains the most dangerous part of England and Wales – but data, obtained from 34 of the 43 police forces, shows the rate of serious knife crime offences rising sharply in some areas outside London, and outstripping some of the city’s boroughs in places like the city of Manchester, Slough, Liverpool and Blackpool.

Read: BBC

07/10/2019: High Court to rule on special-needs funding challenge

The High Court is due to rule on a landmark legal challenge to the government’s approach to providing special educational needs and disabilities (Send) funding. The legal action has been brought by three children with Send on behalf of others who also rely on the funding.

Read: BBC

07/10/2019: Families lose high court challenge over children’s special needs funding

Families who launched a landmark legal challenge to the government’s funding of services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (Send) have lost their high court case. Three families, representing thousands of others across England, brought the action claiming that government budget decisions had left local authorities unable to fulfil their legal obligation to provide education to children with Send.

Read: Guardian

07/10/2019: Fortnite lawsuit: Epic Games hired psychologists to make game ‘very, very addictive’

The games developer behind Fortnite has been accused of hiring psychologists in an attempt to make it more addictive, according to a legal filing. The parents of two children in Canada filed a legal notice against Epic Games that likens the hugely popular game to drugs like cocaine, because of the effect it allegedly has on people playing it.

Read: Independent

07/10/2019: Teenage mental health research gets £35m funding boost

The government is to invest £35m into speeding up the identification of mental health problems among teenagers. The money is being handed to academics to look at the links between genetics and events in teenagers’ lives to see how their mental health is being affected. The aim is to quickly identify issues such as depression, anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders.

07/10/2019: ‘In a PRU, the summer has a long-lasting impact’

Now that we’ve been back in the centre for a few weeks, we can reflect on the effect that the six-week summer holiday has had on our pupils. It has been challenging, as it always is at this time of year. We’ve seen a lot of unproductive behaviours exhibited by the pupils as they have slowly become reaccustomed to the rules and norms of centre life.

06/10/2019: Magistrates raise concerns over county lines defence ‘loophole’

A legal defence for children who claim they are being exploited by county lines drug gangs needs to be monitored more closely, the Magistrates’ Association has warned. Judicial concern about the way section 45 of the Modern Slavery Act operates has emerged as gang violence escalates and the government focuses on the disproportionate outcomes for ethnic minority defendants in the criminal justice system.

Read: Guardian

06/10/2019: I was failed as a young carer. It still happens today

Laura Tsabet juggled school alongside caring for her terminally ill mother, receiving no support. Things are supposed to have changed, she says, and yet the picture is painfully familiar

04/10/2019: SEND system in ‘crisis’ warns ombudsman as complaints rise 45 per cent

Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are increasingly being failed by the system with the number of complaints about support provided to them “rising at an alarming level”, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman has warned. A report by the ombudsman about the education, health and care (EHC) plan process reveals it is now upholding nearly nine out of every 10 (87 per cent) cases it investigates – compared with 57 per cent across all cases it looks at.

04/10/2019: Call for government to provide ‘lifetime support’ for children in care

People who have been taken into care as a child should receive ongoing support to help them deal with the impact of their experiences, a report has recommended.A summary report of the first Care Experienced Conference, held in April to bring together people with experience of the care system and better understand the challenges they face, concluded that there is a lack of help available when statutory support ends at the age of 25.

04/10/2019: Councils issue stark warnings as children’s services overspends continue to strain most budgets

The cost of statutory children’s services is continuing to push many councils further and further into the red, with some issuing dire warnings about the unsustainable impact that delivering them is placing on finite reserves. Analysis by Community Care of revenue budget monitoring reports at 50 spot-checked English local authorities found only five (10%) predicting an underspend or break-even position for children’s social care budgets at the end of the 2019-20 year financial year.

03/10/2019: Student rape survivor – ‘It felt like I was being interrogated’

Reports of rape, sexual assault and harassment at UK universities have trebled in three years, a BBC investigation suggests. Universities told the BBC they recorded 1,436 allegations of sexual harassment or sexual violence against students in 2018-19 – up from 476 in 2016-17. The data, from 124 of 157 universities, shows not all have robust systems to prevent or respond to sexual violence.

Read: BBC

03/10/2019: Call for evidence into council youth work duties

The government has launched a public call for evidence asking for views on the effectiveness of statutory guidance for local authority youth services. The public call – which was due to take place over eight weeks from late July, but had been delayed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) – will run from now until midnight on 1 December.

03/10/2019: Children’s voices largely absent from care records, causing significant distress, study finds

Children and young people’s voices are largely absent from their record, causing care leavers significant distress, a study published today has found. The research also found a lack of recognition on the importance and value of effective record keeping by local authorities and that, when people received their records, they were often heavily redacted, or censored, to remove any ‘third party information’.

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