Parliamentary Newsletter and Campaign Update – January 2020

On 28/01/20 the following update was sent out to all MPs, selected peers, all Children First Alliance supporters and all change.org signatories.

Dear XXX

Child health and wellbeing is in crisis.

A vicious circle of inactivity, mental health problems and overweight feed off each other and are likely to result in the least healthy adult population in living memory.

We intend to supply the attached newsletter each month containing links to new evidence and comment and we have a wealth of evidence from the last few years available on request.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to raise these issues in Parliament. We would be happy to come in to see you if that would be helpful.

Raw links to the items in the newsletter are copied below.

Best wishes

Phil Royal
Campaign Manager
Children First Alliance

Download the Newsletter here

For your convenience, the links in the newsletter are also listed below:

News:  Watchdog cracks down on tech firms that fail to protect children – Guardian Online
22 January 2020, Alex Hern.  Sites must assess content for sexual abuse and suicide risk or face fines of up to £17m.

Internet safety / Watchdog cracks down on tech firms that fail to protect children

News: Kate launches childhood survey to help under-fives – BBC Online
22 January 2020.  The Duchess of Cambridge has launched a UK-wide survey to help improve early childhood.  The five-question online survey aims to “spark a national conversation” to help create “lasting change for generations to come”, Kensington Palace said:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51192909

News: Walking to school is not enough to prevent obesity – Yahoo News
20 January 2020, Rob Noonan.  One of the UK government’s goals in the Childhood Obesity Plan is to increase the number of children who walk to school. Walking is certainly healthy, but is it enough to combat childhood obesity?:

Walking to school is not enough to prevent obesity

Article: Schools ‘converting toilet blocks into isolation booths’ – Guardian Online
17 January 2019, Sally Weale.  Children’s commissioner describes ‘horror stories’ of children put in isolation:

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/jan/17/schools-converting-toilet-blocks-into-isolation-booths

News: Putting pupils in isolation ‘drives poor behaviour’ – BBC News Online
Putting challenging pupils in isolation for extended periods at school can harm their mental health, the Centre for Mental Health (CMH) is warning:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-51034121

News: Social media data needed for ‘harm’ research, say doctors – BBC News Online
17 January 2020.  Leading UK psychiatrists say they will never understand the risks and benefits of social media use on children’s mental health unless companies hand over their data to researchers:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51134545

News: Manchester sex abuse: Exploited children ‘were not protected’ – BBC News Online
14 January 2020.  Police and social workers investigating child sex exploitation in Manchester knew children were suffering “the most profound abuse… but did not protect them”, a report has found:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-51093159#

News: School hunger: Free breakfast pilot for secondary pupils – BBC News Online
8 January 2020, Bethan Lewis.  The Welsh Government said a £450,000 pilot scheme starting in September would provide an extra allowance for Year 7 children receiving free school meals:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-51035548

News: Dame Sally calls time on childhood obesity – Open Access Government
10 January 2020.  Dame Sally calls time on childhood obesity, writes Tam Fry FRSA, Chairman of the National Obesity Forum:
Dame Sally calls time on childhood obesity

One in four young people with mental health referral ‘rejected’ – Guardian Online
10 January 2020, Sally Weale.  Data shows NHS rejection rates have remained unchanged despite additional investments:

Mental health / One in four children with referral ‘not accepted for treatment’

Lords Debate – Queen’s Speech: Baroness Benjamin – Hansard
9 January 2020.  Baroness Floella Benjamin pleads for action to protect children from online pornography and calls for a Cabinet Minister for Children’s Health and Wellbeing:

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Lords0/2020-01-09/debates/8D354643

News: Over 200,000 children are trapped in ‘dumping ground’ schools, report warns – The Sun Online
8 January 2020, Kate Ferguson.  The watchdog said 415 “stuck” schools in England are in “a cycle of poor performance” and have not made the rating for 13 years or more:
The Sun

Public Bills: Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill [HL] 2019-20 – Parliament UK
8 January 2020.  Lord Bird introduces the Wellbeing of Future Generations Bill as a Private Members Bill in the House of Lords:

https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2019-20/wellbeingoffuturegenerationsbill.html

News: Neglected children end up with ‘smaller brains’ – BBC Online
7 January 2020, James Gallagher. An early life full of neglect, deprivation and adversity leads to people growing up with smaller brains, a study suggests:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51010388

News: Levels of child criminal exploitation ‘almost back to Victorian times’ – Guardian Online
2 January 2020, Vikram Dodd.  Exclusive: police chief says problem is at a high for modern era amid lack of youth facilities:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jan/02/levels-child-criminal-exploitation-almost-back-to-victorian-times

News: Revealed: thousands of children in care placed in unregulated homes – Guardian Online
25 December 2019, Sarah Marsh & Amy Walker.  Lack of facilities to house vulnerable children in UK has led to rise in unsafe placements:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/dec/25/revealed-thousands-children-care-unregulated-homes

News: Vulnerable children moved miles from home – report – BBC Online
24 December 2019.  About 30,000 children in care live outside their local area, with nearly 12,000 placed 20 miles or more from friends and family, a report suggests:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-50899652#

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