This week…

19/11/2018: Parents struggle to handle children’s tech habits

Parents worry about how excessive mobile use is affecting their children but struggle to tame their tech habits, suggests a survey. It found that 43% of 7,000 parents across Europe who were surveyed were concerned that using gadgets meant their children slept poorly. Others feared what tablet and phone use did to social skills (38%) and children’s mental health (32%). But many said they set a bad example with their own heavy use of gadgets

Source: BBC

19/11/2018: Letting children try alcohol at home won’t deter binge drinking, say UK experts

Parents are being urged to delay the moment their child first drinks alcohol because it can damage the growing brain. The idea that introducing your child to alcohol, for example with a glass of wine at the dinner table, will take away the novelty and deter binge drinking is a myth, say experts. Too many people still believe that families drinking together in France keeps children safe, when actually the county’s rates of alcohol dependence and binge drinking exceed those in the UK.

Source: Guardian

19/11/2018: Set age ban on sale of energy drinks at 18, government told

Childrens’ health campaigners and teachers have joined forces to urge the government to set its proposed ban in England on the sale of energy drinks to youngsters at 18 rather than 16. The Children’s Food Campaign (CFC), which is supported by the chef Jamie Oliver, the British Dietetic Association and the Action on Sugar campaign group, believe an under-18 ban would be the most effective way to help schools and colleges tackle behavioural issues linked to drinking the high-caffeine fizzy drinks, which include Red Bull and Monster Energy.

Source: Guardian

19/11/2018: ‘A lost generation’: How austerity has created vacuum being filled by drug gangs exploiting children

Austerity and rampant drug dealing have created a “lost generation” of children living in fear of violence across the UK, police and former gang members have said. There are fears the recent spate of bloody street stabbings in London, where 20 teenagers have been killed so far this year, will not be the last if funding to police and public services is not urgently increased.

Source: Independent

18/11/2018: Special needs pupils ‘spend years out of school’

Julie becomes tearful when she starts talking about her autistic son’s struggle to stay in school. “He has been taught that he’s not worth anything,” she says. Sam, 14 – who loves animals and rebuilding computers – was temporarily excluded from secondary school in December 2015. Julie expected her son would be back in a matter of days. But he didn’t go back to school for almost two and a half years.

Source: BBC

16/11/2018: Online Bullying – Practical Advice for Teachers

Quite often, teachers can be the first to suspect that a child is having a bad time. Children who are being bullied online could become withdrawn, isolating themselves from their peers, or seeming more tired or distracted in class. They could actually behave differently, or become angry or upset more easily. If you suspect someone you are teaching may be being bullied online, here is some advice from the Professionals Online Safety Helpline.

Source: South West Grid for Learning

16/11/2018: Revised youth justice guidelines ‘risk poorer outcomes’

Revised national standards for how to work with children in the youth justice system may be missing important details that will lead to confusion among professionals and poorer outcomes for children, former Youth Justice Board (YJB) chief executive John Drew has warned.

Source: Children and Young People Now

16/11/2018: Operation Encompass: Meet the head whose brainwave protects pupils across the UK from abuse

It was only because of a chance remark from a local authority officer that primary headteacher Elisabeth Carney-Haworth found out one of her former pupils had been coping with abuse at home. Looking back she realised with shock that the warning signs had been there – almost overnight the boy had become withdrawn, tearful and taken to hiding under desks during lessons.

Source: Times Education Supplement

15/11/2018: MiSafes’ child-tracking smartwatches are ‘easy to hack’

A location-tracking smartwatch worn by thousands of children has proven relatively easy to hack. A security researcher found the devices neither encrypted the data they used nor secured each child’s account. As a result, he said, he could track children’s movements, surreptitiously listen in to their activities and make spoof calls to the watches that appeared to be from parents.

Source: BBC

15/11/2018: Pubs fail to stop underage gambling, watchdog warns

Only 10% of pubs intervene to stop children gambling on their premises, the Gambling Commission has found. The watchdog said it had found a “concerning” number of pubs where youngsters used gaming machines. Pub staff are expected to prevent under-18s playing on the machines and there should be clear signage indicating the age restriction.

Source: BBC

15/11/2018: Police can’t act on more than 650 abuse of positions of trust complaints

Police are unable to investigate more than 650 complaints made to councils about adults having sex with teenagers in their care made between 2014 and 20181. A legal loophole means individuals such as sports coaches and faith leaders aren’t covered by the Position of Trust law. Currently, only people such as teachers, care workers and youth justice workers are legally in a position of trust, meaning it is against the law for them to have sex with 16 or 17-year-olds that they supervise. Our Close the Loophole campaign is calling for these laws to be extended to all adults working with young people, to stop children being preyed upon as soon as they turn 16.

Source: NSPCC

15/11/2018: Pace of children being taken into care accelerates

The number of children in care has risen to more than 75,000 for the first time, with the pace of increase accelerating, government figures show. Department for Education statistics published today show that as of 31 March this year, a total of 75,420 were in care, up from 72,590 in 2017 – an increase of 3.9 per cent. Last year the pace of increase was 3.2 per cent – which at the time was the steepest rate of increase in five years.

Source: Children and Young People Now

15/11/2018: One in 10 home-schooled children ‘known to social services’

More than one in 10 children who are home schooled are known to children’s social care, a survey of councils has found. Based on responses from 106 councils, the Association of Directors of Children’s Services found that 11 per cent of home-schooled children are known to children’s social care either currently or historically.

Source: Children and Young People Now

15/11/2018: ‘Concerning’ question marks over Signs of Safety effectiveness, review finds

There is “no evidence” a popular practice model reduces the numbers of children entering care, a new study has found. The systematic review was one of two research pieces published this week by the government’s What Works Centre for children’s social care. It found “concerning” question marks over whether and how Signs of Safety’s impact, including its cost-effectiveness, could be measured.

Source: Community Care

15/11/2018: Young children not routinely told why they are in care, survey finds

Almost half of four- to seven-year-olds in care have not had the reason for them being there fully explained to them, a survey of more than 2,600 children has found. The survey, carried out by Coram Voice and the University of Bristol and published as part of the Our Lives, Our Care research series, found a third of eight- to 11-year-olds likewise felt they hadn’t had the reason they were in care explained to them. Among 11-18 year olds meanwhile, 18% hadn’t.

Source: Community Care

14/11/2018: Help for trauma in childhood ‘fragmented’

Early intervention to reduce the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as abuse or neglect is “fragmented and variable” across England, MPs warn. The Science and Technology Committee says more help in the formative years can help stave off mental health problems in later life. The committee is urging the government to draw up a new national strategy for early intervention approaches.

Source: BBC

14/11/2018: MPs demand early intervention drive and children’s centres action

The government should undertake a “fundamental shift” on early intervention policy by setting out a national strategy to tackle childhood adversity and trauma, and outlining its plans for the future of children’s centres, an influential group of MPs has said. A report published by the science and technology select committee calls on government to provide more funding to local authorities as part of a coherent approach on early intervention, on the grounds that it saves money in the long-term.

Source: Children and Young People Now

14/11/2018: Heartbreak of Britain’s homeless teens

Stacey Dooley has uncovered the heartbreaking reality of the lives of homeless teenager, including girls who walk the streets at night because they’re too scared to sleep rough and an 18-year-old whose ‘home’ is a tent under a filthy railway bridge. The presenter took to the streets for a BBC Children in Need special, which airs tonight, to meet with young people who are trying to survive as best they can with no home or family support.

Source: Daily Mail

14/11/2018: British children could be issued with ‘digital passports’ to protect them from online porn

Teenagers could be forced to apply for a ‘digital passport’ to prove they are old enough to join social media sites such as Facebook. Digital minister Margot James admitted yesterday that while plans to impose a strict age verification scheme on pornographic websites has been delayed, the ‘time has come’ for a clampdown on social media sites, because many are flooded with adult material.

Source: Daily Mail

14/11/2018: Off rolling leaves young people vulnerable to gangs, Ofsted warns

The head of Ofsted has warned that schools “off rolling” pupils can have dire consequences and leave young people vulnerable to gangs. Amanda Spielman said that being removed from school can be the start of a “downward spiral”. The chief inspector of schools told town hall bosses at a conference today that Ofsted’s new inspection regime would look to address schools putting “exam performance and league tables over the needs of individual pupils.”

Source: Times Education Supplement

14/11/2018: #MeToo? Why female pupils still won’t report sexual abuse

Students, especially girls, experience unwanted or forceful sexual advances from a very young age. I teach a Women’s Studies course in the US for 17-18 year old students. Every year, I hear reports from my students about unwanted sexual advances they receive.

Source: Times Education Supplement

14/11/2018: Drug gangs targeting private school pupils, warns Ofsted

Gangs operating so-called county-lines drug networks are targeting private school children, as they are “less likely to raise suspicion”, the chief inspector of schools will say today. The networks see urban dealers forcing children and other vulnerable people to courier illegal substances to customers in more rural areas, and Ofsted boss Amanda Spielman will use a speech in Manchester to warn of the issue.

Source: 

14/11/2018: Gaming Disorder

The World Health Organisation has recently incorporated ‘gaming disorder’ into the International Classification of Diseases, and in the UK those diagnosed will be entitled to treatment from the NHS. This change is in response to an increase in excessive gaming, with various knock-on effects including family breakdown.

Source: South West Grid for Learning

14/11/2018: 16 reasons why we need to speak out about intimate image abuse

From 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10th December, Human Rights Day, the Revenge Porn Helpline is supporting the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. 16 Days of Activism is a global awareness campaign to create awareness and start a conversation about gender based violence as a human rights issue.

Source: South West Grid for Learning

13/11/2018: ‘Disturbing’ self-harm rates and violence at youth prisons

The “disturbing extent” of self-harm and violence in the UK’s young offender institutes illustrate “why prison is no place for a child”, a charity has said. Parc Prison in Bridgend has the highest rate of self-harm among youth jails in Wales and England, new figures show. Wetherby had the largest number of self-harm incidents while Werrington in Staffordshire had the highest total number of assaults on young people. The Howard League for Penal Reform described the statistics as worrying.

Source: BBC

13/11/2018: ‘Schools should have consistent policy on phones’

Pupils in schools where smartphones are banned like being free of the associated pressures, says England’s Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield. Ms Longfield said schools across England should have a consistent approach to the use of mobile phones. She told the Commons Science and Technology Committee that every school seemed to have its own policy on whether pupils could use phones.

Source: BBC

13/11/2018: Children whose parents have multiple partners while they’re growing up are ‘less likely to have stable relationships as adults’, study suggests

Children whose parents remarry several times or have multiple partners are likely to have more relationships themselves when they’re adults, a new study has suggested. An array of biological traits, as well as factors learned from parents in childhood, influence our relationship success, US researchers, lead by Dr Claire Kamp Dush, an associate professor of human sciences at Ohio State University, said.

Source: Independent

13/11/2018: Bullying: It’s emotional

Turn to the topic of bullying, whether it’s at a conference or a dinner party, and people’s perspectives vary widely; but mostly are drawn from their own experiences. It’s a very personal thing to discuss. Many people can relate to times in their lives when they may have felt isolated; targeted; at the receiving end of something unpleasant.

Source: South West Grid for Learning

13/11/2018: ‘Let’s open our eyes to the invisible students’

Much has been written about the lack of attention college students receive, and the lack of clout the sector has with policymakers and wider society alike. However, there is one part of the student cohort for whom this is even more relevant than for their peers: the so-called six-week (or 42-day) leavers. If a student leaves their college course within the first six weeks of the academic year and does not move onto another course at the same institution, they do not appear in college statistics. They are completely invisible to the system.

Source: Times Education Supplement

13/11/2018: Schools should ‘take the lead’ on curbing pupils’ social media use

Schools should take the lead on teaching children how to cope with the “avalanche” of pressure they face on social media, says England’s children’s commissioner Anne Longfield. Giving evidence before MPs this morning, Ms Longfield cited schools that have banned smartphones or made pupils turn their phones off at 9pm as examples of how teachers can help students to manage social media use.

Source: Times Education Supplement

13/11/2018: Primary schools ‘should teach meaning of terms lesbian and gay’

Children should be taught about the meaning of the terms lesbian, gay and bisexual at primary school, leading medics have said. The Royal College of Paediatricians and Child Health said there needed to be a “clear statement” that LGBT people and relationships were part of the teaching of healthy relationships.

Source: Times Education Supplement

Older news…

11/11/2018: Teachers want schools held to account for off-rolled pupils
Source: Times Education Supplement

11/11/2018: The ACEs campaign: cause for worry or celebration?
Source: Times Education Supplement

10/11/2018: Vulnerable children treated ‘like cattle’ in care home system
Source: Guardian

10/11/2018: ‘Devastating’ cuts hit special educational needs
Source: Guardian

10/11/2018: ‘Our pupils would have been on the scrapheap’: the school for bullied children
Source: Guardian

09/11/2018: Bullying: Children point finger at adults
Source: BBC

09/11/2018: Axing train guards could help ‘county lines’ drug gangs recruit youngsters, security minister fears
Source: Daily Mail

09/11/2018: Scotland is first country to approve LGBTI school lessons
Source: Guardian

09/11/2018: One school pupil in every classroom is bullied every single day, survey suggests
Source: Independent

09/11/2018: The pupils being ‘off-rolled’
Source: Times Education Supplement

08/11/2018: Children’s personal online details being collected from birth by social media companies
Source: Sky

08/11/2018: Children are being ‘datafied from birth’
Source: BBC

08/11/2018: Fall in number of NHS psychiatrists treating children in England
Source: Guardian

08/11/2018: Government unveils secure school plans
Source: Children and Young People Now

08/11/2018: MPs launch inquiry into children’s services funding
Source: Children and Young People Now

08/11/2018: ‘I’d seen too much violence’: county lines networks and how services are struggling to respond
Source: Community Care

08/11/2018: ‘Exclusion is the first step on a dangerous road’
Source: Times Education Supplement

08/11/2018: Schools must reach out to Traveller families
Source: Times Education Supplement

07/11/2018: Future of early help ‘under serious threat’
Source: Children and Young People Now

07/11/2018: Reports of fears for children’s safety rise by 1million in a decade, warn social workers
Source: Daily Mail

07/11/2018: Children in prison aren’t coping – but nobody seems to care
Source: Guardian

07/11/2018: Can people be saved from a terrible childhood?
Source: Guardian

07/11/2018: Number of closing academy trusts quadruples
Source: Times Education Supplement

07/11/2018: New guidance lets private primaries ‘edit LGBT people out’
Source: Times Education Supplement

06/11/2018: Government appoints Mims Davies as youth minister
Source: Children and Young People Now

06/11/2018: What is #schoolshaming?
Source: Guardian

05/11/2018: Gender stereotypes: Teen called ‘lesbian’ for playing football
Source: BBC

05/11/2018: Too many students left with debts for ‘too little payback’
Source: BBC

05/11/2018: Children with learning disabilities ‘failed by society’
Source: BBC

05/11/2018: Education Secretary Damian Hinds calls for billions more investment
Source: Daily Mail

05/11/2018: Cut teachers’ paperwork so they can focus on developing children
Source: Daily Mail

05/11/2018: ‘Audit culture’ causing staff burnout in schools, report finds
Source: Guardian

05/11/2018: Government expands teacher training programme to address LGBT bullying
Source: Children and Young People Now

05/11/2018: Statement: In response to the Home Office announcement on IWF online child sexual abuse imagery data collection
Source: Internet Watch Foundation

04/11/2018: Childhood obesity linked to air pollution from vehicles
Source: Guardian

04/11/2018: Third of drug rehab centres close in just five years
Source: Sky

03/11/2018: Adoptions fall by 62% as IVF success rises
Source: BBC

03/11/2018: ‘School is very oppressive’: why home-schooling is on the rise
Source: Guardian

03/11/2018: Gender identity clinic accused of fast-tracking young adults
Source: Guardian

02/11/2018: Teens talk about growing up in a rural area
Source: BBC

02/11/2018: Zahawi reveals initiatives to spearhead £84m drive to reduce care numbers
Source: Children and Young People Now

02/11/2018: Crouch resignation prompts calls for dedicated youth minister
Source: Children and Young People Now

02/11/2018: Rise in melatonin use to help children sleep leads to safety warning
Source: Guardian

02/11/2018: Autism: ‘Dare to see the reasons behind behaviour’
Source: Times Education Supplement

01/11/2018: Education spending now ‘skewed’ to poor following ‘remarkable shift’
Source: BBC

01/11/2018: More money now spent on poorer pupils than better-off, says IFS
Source: Guardian

01/11/2018: UK parents regularly give money to offset school funding deficits
Source: Guardian

01/11/2018: Trowler: More children considered ‘at risk’ should stay with families
Source: Children and Young People Now

01/11/2018: Making the Mental Health Act work for children and young people
Source: Community Care

31/10/2018: Three-quarters of British parents want ‘hugely distracting’ smartphones BANNED from classrooms
Source: Daily Mail