14/09/2020: Coronavirus: Fears for extra needs pupils entering jobs market

The head of the UK’s biggest special education school has said he fears Covid-19 will make it even more difficult for his pupils to find jobs. Chris Britten, at Ysgol y Deri in Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, said people with additional learning needs faced an even greater struggle for meaningful work. Employers, he said, would likely be “swamped” with applicants.

Source: BBC

14/09/2020: My working week: ‘I cry after hearing one domestic abuse survivor’s story. She is lucky to be alive’

I am an independent domestic violence advocate. I phone one of my clients first thing; I’ve been worried about her over the weekend. Although I’m an atheist, as the phone rings I find myself praying that her partner hasn’t hurt her. She answers, says “I’m not interested in PPI” and hangs up. That’s a code letting me know her abuser is with her and it’s not safe to speak.

Source: Guardian

12/09/2020: From tearaways to tractor kids: putting down roots on a care farm

Young people with a range of troubles are among many groups thriving on the rural lifestyle offered by Future Roots in Dorset. Jordan Ellis was not suited to school. “I couldn’t just sit there and concentrate. I had to mess about. I hate just sitting in the classroom working, listening to the teachers talk. I don’t like getting told what I have to do,” he says.

Source: Guardian

12/09/2020: ‘We need a game changer for looked-after pupils’

Every year, Scotland reports on the educational outcomes for looked-after children. This publication sets out the attainment, achievements and post-school destinations of school leavers who were in care. Every year, it is awful reading. Statistic after statistic highlights deeply how unfathomably poorly we serve the young people who are in our care – who are our responsibility.

Source: Times Education Supplement

11/09/2020: Youth groups call for consistency over reopening

Youth groups have called for clarity from the Welsh Government over when they can reopen their doors. Services using private spaces are allowed to resume activities providing the venue is following Covid-19 rules However the decision over whether clubs can use community centres has been left to each council to decide.

Source: BBC

11/09/2020: Child prisoners at ‘real risk of psychological decline’ after lockdown

Children in young offender institutions (YOIs) face “a real risk of psychological decline” following strict restrictions implemented during lockdown, the chief inspector of prisons has warned. In a report summarising short scrutiny visits to 35 prisons, including Cookham Wood, Wetherby, Parc, Feltham A and Werrington YOIs, between 21 April and 7 July, Peter Clarke says his concerns over an impending crisis must be “addressed urgently, so that prisoners, children and detainees do not suffer long-term damage to their mental health and wellbeing, and prisons can fulfil their rehabilitative goals”.

Source: Children and Young People Now

10/09/2020: One in eight children in care ‘placed in unregulated settings’

One in eight children in care has now spent time in unregulated supported accommodation including hostels, caravans and tents, new figures from the children’s commissioner for England reveal. In 2018/19, 12,800 spent some time accommodated in unregulated settings – 69 per cent more than in 2012/13, Anne Longfield’s Unregulated: Children in care living in semi-independent accommodation report shows.

Source: Children and Young People Now

10/09/2020: Researchers to review Childline’s response to children at risk of suicide

Childline’s response to children at risk of suicide is set to be reviewed as part of a research partnership with the University of Birmingham. The NSPCC-funded research programme will enable experts at Birmingham’s Institute for Mental Health and the Centre for Applied Psychology to explore the best way to provide effective help and support to children who contact the charity through its Childline service, the university has said.

Source: Children and Young People Now

10/09/2020: New guide to supporting migrant children through age assessments

A new guide has been launched aimed at helping social workers and other professionals to better understand the impact of age assessments on asylum-seeking children. Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit (GMIAU) has produced a document for social workers, interpreters and those acting as appropriate adults written by former unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) who have been through the age assessment process.

Source: Children and Young People Now

10/09/2020: ‘No evidence’ machine learning works well in children’s social care, study finds

There is no evidence that using machine learning to predict outcomes for families involved with children’s social care services is effective, research has found. Models built by What Works for Children’s Social Care and trialled over 18 months in four local authority areas failed to identify, on average, four out of every five children at risk.

Source: Community Care

10/09/2020: Scouts to tackle fake news as part of UK badge relaunch

Scouts wanting to fill up their sweater with badges need to work on a new skill: spotting fake news. Alongside more traditional awards for angling, cycling and orienteering, the ability to root out online lies is now to be included in a relaunched digital citizen badge, after Covid-19 unleashed a torrent of fakery.

Source: Guardian

09/09/2020: Children ‘should be banned from unregulated care homes’

The government should ban placing under-18s in care in unregulated homes amid concerns over sexual and criminal exploitation, the children’s commissioner for England has said. Some vulnerable teenagers are “at risk every day of the week”, Anne Longfield told BBC Newsnight. She called them “inappropriate” places for any child. The government is consulting on proposals to introduce new minimum standards to the sector.

Source: BBC

08/09/2020: Government offers 500 internships to care leavers

Applications are now open for the government’s care leavers internship scheme which offers 500 positions in central government. The number of positions available as part of the scheme has increased for the first time since 2017 when just 250 places were offered, children’s minister Vicky Ford announced.

Source: Children and Young People Now

08/09/2020: MPs launch inquiry into economic impact of Covid-19 on young people

An inquiry into the economic impact of Covid-19 on young people has been launched by MPs. The all-party parliamentary group (APPG) on youth affairs says young people are already “disproportionately affected” by the pandemic.

Source: Children and Young People Now

08/09/2020: Children’s commissioner calls for NHS counsellors in schools to relieve mental health crisis

The children’s commissioner for England has renewed calls for NHS-funded counsellors to be placed in every school amid concerns over the impact of lockdown on young people’s mental health. As pupils return to school after six-months of closures due to the pandemic, Anne Longfield has said the availability of a counsellor in “every school for every child who needs one” would help relieve pressure on struggling child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Source: Children and Young People Now

07/09/2020: Council leaders call for more funding as children’s services referrals set to rise

The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for councils to receive extra funding amid an expected rise in referrals for children’s social care services over the coming weeks. The LGA said councils are grappling with funding pressures at a time when referrals are expected to rise due to pent up demand left over from a fall during the pandemic lockdown.

Source: Children and Young People Now

07/09/2020: Criminal records system ‘undermining’ youth justice reforms, campaigners claim

A coalition of youth justice organisations has called for a wide-ranging review of the criminal records system to support youth justice reforms. The Standing Committee for Youth Justice (SCYJ), a national alliance of 60 charities and youth organisations, said welcome developments in youth justice are being undermined by the current childhood criminal records system.

Source: Children and Young People Now

07/09/2020: Most teachers ‘fear for pupils’ safety online’

Six out of 10 teachers say they are worried about their pupils’ safety online after many became dependent on the internet to continue learning amid lockdown, according to a survey. And, of 1,004 teachers surveyed, 67 per cent said technology is now more important than textbooks for learning, while 96 per cent think it is important children have access to a connected device.

Source: Times Education Supplement

04/09/2020: Home Office launches consultation on National Transfer Scheme for migrant children

The Home Office has proposed mandating the National Transfer Scheme (NTS) as part of a consultation into the distribution of migrant children across England. The consultation was launched after Kent County Council said it could no longer “safely” care for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) due to an influx of arrivals at the Port of Dover between May and August.

Source: Children and Young People Now

04/09/2020: Childminders and nurseries that rely on parent fees ‘risk closure after lockdown’

Childcare providers relying on parent fees rather than free entitlement funding are most vulnerable to closure after lockdown, sparking concerns over a shortage of placements, new research has warned. A new report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) highlights that while many providers were facing financial difficulties before the pandemic, a total loss of income from parent fees since settings were forced to close in March has put as many as a quarter of private-sector nurseries at risk of running a significant deficit during lockdown.

Source: Children and Young People Now