06/10/2022: Universities told to contact students’ loved ones to stop suicides

Universities are being told to contact key family members, carers or friends if they have serious concerns about a student’s mental health – even without their permission. Students should register a “trusted contact” when they start university, according to new guidance.

BBC

03/10/2022: Cost of living: Young cancer patients ‘in a desperate situation’

Charities are warning that young cancer patients facing soaring living costs are in a “desperate” situation. Both Macmillan Cancer Support and Young Lives vs Cancer say they’ve seen dramatic increases in the number of people asking for emergency grants.

BBC

03/10/2022: Attachment Theory In Probation Practice

Attachment theory can contribute to work with people on probation in conceptualising the supervisory relationship, and in understanding offending, risk and relationships.

03/10/2022: Around 2.6 million young people used an illegal drug in past year, charity finds

According to youth charity The Mix, there has been a 75% increase since last year in young people using substances to help them with life’s problems, with one in five users doing just that.

Sky

02/10/2022: April Jones: Is the internet safer after April Jones’ murder?

April Jones’ murder brought policies that were “game-changers” in protecting children, says one regulatory body. April, five, from Machynlleth, Powys, was abducted and killed in 2012 by Mark Bridger, who had a mass of child abuse images on his computer. Her parents pushed for change and the Internet Watch Foundation were given powers that has since seen them remove millions of images.

BBC

02/10/2022: Third of primary school teachers ‘struggling to buy food’ as cost of living crisis sparks fears for education

A third of primary school teachers are struggling to afford food as a result of the cost of living crisis, sparking concerns for children’s education. In a poll shared exclusively with The Independent, nearly 30 per cent said financial pressures were also impacting their ability to do their job well.

01/10/2022: How vulnerable teenagers are being bombarded with a torrent of self-harm and suicide content within minutes of joining the platform

Vulnerable teenagers are being bombarded with a torrent of self-harm and suicide content on TikTok within minutes of joining the platform, a Daily Mail investigation found. An account set up by the Daily Mail as 14-year-old Emily was shown posts about suicidal thoughts within five minutes of expressing an interest in depression content.

01/10/2022: ‘Poisonous’: how WhatsApp is exposing UK school children to bullying and harmful content

Teachers say they are powerless to deal with damaging elements of social media and are calling for more parental vigilance. Victoria Tully, co-headteacher at Fulham Cross girls’ school, a state secondary in west London, had no idea that her new first years had invited people from outside the school to join their WhatsApp group.

30/09/2022: The school fines lottery for parents with absent children

Parents in England whose children miss school face harsher penalties depending on where they live, a BBC Panorama investigation has found. Fines, which begin at £60, but rise if not paid promptly, totalled more than £8.6m in the past school year. But some local councils told us no penalties had been issued, while other authorities handed out thousands.

BBC

30/09/2022: Molly Russell: Social media a factor in teenager’s death, coroner says

The “negative effects of online content” were a factor in the death of a girl who took her own life, an inquest has found. Coroner Andrew Walker said material viewed by 14-year-old Molly Russell on social media “shouldn’t have been available for a child to see”. Molly, from Harrow, viewed thousands of images of self-harm and suicide before she died in November 2017.

BBC

30/09/2022: In her own words – Molly Russell’s secret Twitter account

Unsafe online content contributed “in a more than minimal way” to the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, an inquest found on Friday. Early in the inquest it was revealed that Molly – who took her own life in 2017 – had a secret Twitter account which she used to express her thoughts about her worsening depression.

BBC

30/09/2022: Social media firms ‘monetising misery’, says Molly Russell’s father after inquest

Coroner finds harmful online content likely to have contributed to Molly’s death ‘in a more than minimal way’. Molly Russell’s father has accused the world’s biggest social media firms of “monetising misery” after an inquest ruled that harmful online content contributed to the 14-year-old’s death.

30/09/2022: Molly Russell inquest findings

The inquest findings into the death of Molly Russell released today, told she took her own life while suffering from depression and had interacted with harmful social media content. Unsafe online content contributed “in a more than minimal way” to the death of a girl who took her own life, an inquest has found.

29/09/2022: Young non-smokers told not to take up vaping by experts

Young non-smokers are being advised not to take up vaping. Researchers looked at the evidence and say while vaping is far safer than cigarettes, the long-term effects of vapes are still unknown. Vaping causes less exposure to harmful toxins than smoking, say the experts, who were tasked by the government with looking at the issue.

BBC

29/09/2022: How social workers can help schools address harmful sexual behaviour

Social workers are often expected to be the experts in responding to harmful sexual behaviour by children, but their training can often make them feel powerless to act. A new guide from The CSA Centre seeks to help.

29/09/2022: Instagram and Pinterest were ‘ignorantly blind’ and contributed to the death of 14-year-old Molly Russell, inquest hears

Schoolgirl Molly Russell liked more than 2,000 images about depression, suicide and self-harm before taking her own life but Instagram and Pinterest were ‘ignorantly blind’ to their part in her death, an inquest heard today. The 14-year-old from Harrow, northwest London, died in 2017 after hiding her ‘demons’ from her family while viewing thousands of harrowing posts and videos.

29/09/2022: Behaviour adviser urges English schools to crack down on pupils’ vaping

The government’s school behaviour adviser has called on headteachers to crack down on vaping among pupils, calling it “a huge health hazard” and an “enormous distraction”, amid reports that more children are using the devices, including some of primary age.

28/09/2022: Just one in five teachers confident in delivering lessons to tackle sexual harassment

Most teachers lack the confidence to deliver lessons around countering harmful sexual behaviour and sexual harassment, a report is warning. Among secondary school teachers, just 19 per cent said they were confident enough to advise pupils on these subjects within sex and relationships education (SRE) lessons.

28/09/2022: DfE merges schools and children’s social care responsibilities under new minister

Kelly Tolhurst becomes sixth children’s social care minister in four years, but appointment sees role upgraded in status from junior to mid-ranking ministerial level.

27/09/2022: ‘I’m just not good enough’: Words from ‘depressive’ Instagram post were used in note Molly Russell left behind, inquest hears

Molly Russell left behind a note quoting an Instagram post which said ‘I’m just not good enough’ before taking her life, an inquest heard yesterday. Oliver Sanders KC, the Russell family’s lawyer, suggested the ‘dreadful, disgusting’ content the 14-year-old viewed on the platform, had ‘influenced’ her real-world actions.

27/09/2022: Keeping Young People In Contact With The Justice System Safe

Last Friday (23 September 2022), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation published the latest in their Research and Analysis Bulletin series: The identification of safety concerns relating to children. A key objective for those delivering youth offending services is to keep children and other people safe, which sits alongside and supports the all-important nurturing and strengths-focused work that helps children to realise their potential.

27/09/2022: DfE names Kelly Tolhurst as minister for schools and childhood

Kelly Tolhurst has been named as the Department for Education’s new minister for schools and childhood. Tolhurst, MP for Rochester and Strood, who was deputy chief whip at the Treasury, will take on responsibilities previously shared between the roles of children’s minister and schools minister.

27/09/2022: Psychiatrist ‘unable to sleep’ after seeing material viewed by Molly Russell

A child psychiatrist has told the inquest into Molly Russell’s death he was unable to sleep well for “a few weeks” after seeing social media content viewed by the teenager before she killed herself. Dr Navin Venugopal told North London coroner’s court the self-harm content viewed by Molly before her death was “very disturbing” and “distressing”.

26/09/2022: What’s It Like Being Addicted To Gambling?

True to life, even a gambling addiction has to start somewhere. I suppose my actual beginning was when I was very young and waiting outside the bookmakers for my uncle to place his bets on the days horse racing. Betting shops were seen as dark places, filled with smoke and old men who had nothing better to do. I guess this would be my beginning, but in those days you had to be 18 to enter, just like today.

26/09/2022: Why language matters: “hidden” in plain sight

“Hidden men” and “invisible fathers” are terms often used in response to the idea that male caregivers in a child’s life can sometimes be excluded from services or overlooked by professionals working with children and their families.

26/09/2022: TikTok may be fined £27m for failing to protect children

TikTok could face a £27m fine for failing to protect children’s privacy when they’re using the platform. The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found the video-sharing platform may have processed the data of under-13s without appropriate consent.

BBC

26/09/2022: Children’s happiness continues to decline, annual wellbeing survey reveals

One in nine children have poor wellbeing and their happiness in life continues to decline, the Children’s Society’s annual Good Childhood Report has revealed. The charity’s annual report, based on analysis collected from 2,100 children whose families are taking part in the long-running Understanding Society project, shows that six percent of 10- to 15-year-olds say they are unhappy with life as a whole, up from four per cent a decade ago.

26/09/2022: How a back-to-basics approach to Signs of Safety is helping social workers embrace the model

North East Lincolnshire has reinvigorated the way it rolls out Signs of Safety with the introduction of training modules, refresher sessions and dedicated practice champions. Social workers explain how the initiative is already having an impact. “Something as simple as creating words and pictures meant a four-year-old boy, who initially thought I would remove him from his parents, trusted me enough to tell me his worries.”

26/09/2022: Ofsted raises concerns over use of restraints on pupils in special needs school

Concerns over the use of physical restraint on pupils with complex special educational needs at a school in Suffolk have been raised by inspectors in a highly critical report.

25/09/2022: Schools in England warn of crisis of ‘heartbreaking’ rise in hungry children

Headteachers and food aid charities say they are struggling to cope with growing demand from families unable to afford food. Children are so hungry that they are eating rubbers or hiding in the playground because they can’t afford lunch, according to reports from headteachers across England.

25/09/2022: Up to £5m funding to support county lines victims

The Home Office has allocated up to £5m to support victims of county lines exploitation over the next three years. Support services in London, the West Midlands, Merseyside and Greater Manchester will be expanded. County lines involves drug gangs grooming children or vulnerable adults to run drugs from one city to often more rural parts of the country.

BBC

24/09/2022: Oxfordshire teen arrested in police hacking investigation

A teenager has been arrested on suspicion of hacking as part of an investigation by the National Crime Agency. City of London Police said the 17-year-old, from Oxfordshire, was detained on Thursday evening as part of an inquiry supported by the UK’s National Cyber Crime Unit.

BBC

24/09/2022: Molly Russell inquest: Instagram clips seen by teen ‘most distressing’

The inquest of a 14-year-old girl who took her own life has been examining the impact of material she viewed on Instagram in the run-up to her death. Molly Russell, from Harrow, north-west London, engaged with numerous accounts referring to self-harm, depression or suicide before killing herself in 2017.

BBC

24/09/2022: Catch22 to provide support for victims of County Lines exploitation

Catch22 has been awarded a contract by the Home Office to support hundreds of victims of exploitation from drug gangs through an expanded County Lines support service. The service will operate in four priority locations of the country, where young people are often targeted – London, West Midlands, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.

23/09/2022: Rape posts every half-hour found on online incel forum

Discussions on a major forum for incels are growing more violent, a new study by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) has warned. Incels – short for Involuntary Celibate – hold misogynistic beliefs, and some have launched violent attacks. The CCDH research suggests that, on average, a post about rape was published to the forum every 29 minutes.

BBC

23/09/2022: Kwarteng pledges to ‘move forward’ with controversial childcare reforms

Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng has announced plans to “bring forward reforms to improve access to affordable, flexible childcare”, in his first mini budget.

23/09/2022: Childcare ratios: sector responds to government consultation

The early years sector has expressed concern in responses to the government’s consultation into regulatory changes to childcare, with experts warning the proposed change to adult-to-child ratios could be “catastrophic” for providers.

23/09/2022: Molly Russell inquest hears defence of Instagram content policies

A senior executive at Instagram’s parent company has defended the platform’s policies on suicide and self-harm content, telling the inquest into Molly Russell’s death that guidelines had always been drafted in consultation with experts.

23/09/2022: March 2022 statistics on Cautioning and Sentencing of Knife and Offensive Weapon Offences

Published in August 2022, statistics produced by the Ministry of Justice (“MoJ”) outline the trends in the number of offenders receiving cautions and convictions for possession of a knife or other offensive weapon in England and Wales.