18/02/19 – Useful Links

Interesting links, articles, news and blog posts sent out to members on 18/01/20

Consultation: Reforms to unregulated provision for children in care and care leavers – Department for Education
12 February 2020.  Children in care and care leavers are some of the most vulnerable children and young people in society. Every child and young person should have access to a stable and secure placement in accommodation that can meet their needs and, most importantly, keep them safe. See here for more.


Children’s Social Care Update: Written statement – HCWS110 – Parliament UK – Gavin Williamson
12 February 2020.
  Ministerial statement announcing the consultation is here.


News: Chair elect comments on Government announcement on Online Harms – Parliament UK – Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee 12 February 2020.  DCMS Committee Chair elect Julian Knight MP comments critically on Government announcement on Online Harms. (Included in the statement is a commitment to ‘look again at online harms, particularly as we head towards statutory regulation. In the last parliament we considered the addictive nature of immersive technologies and our dependency on social media. We need to make sure that dangers are properly understood and protections put in place.’). See here for more details.


News: Regulator Ofcom to have more powers over UK social media – BBC Online, 12 February 2020. New powers will be given to the watchdog Ofcom to force social media firms to act over harmful content: see here.


News: Government ‘to ban’ placing children in unregulated homes – BBC Online, 12 February 2020, Noel Titheradge and Ed Thomas.  The government is set to ban the placement of children in care under the age of 16 in unregulated homes in England, following a BBC investigation. See here for more details.


Blog:  National Plan for Music Education – Department for Education, 10 February 2020. On Sunday 9 February, the department launched a call for evidence for the new National Plan for Music Education.  With the National Plan due to launch in autumn 2020, the department is seeking views from stakeholders including music industry experts, parents, carers, young people and teachers. More information here.


News: Are public health initiatives and the sugar tax working? – Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and Environment 11 February 2020.  Select Committee on Food, Poverty, Health and the Environment takes evidence on Tuesday 11 February. See Are public health initiatives and the sugar tax working?


News: 5 responses to scepticism about play in the early years – TES Online
10 February 2020, Gemma Cass. 
Play is a vital tool for international EYFS teachers, but some parents need convincing – try these tips to win them over: 5 responses to scepticism about play in the early years


Department for Education written question – answered on 10th February 2020 – Schools: Food – They Work For You
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress they have made in updating their School Food Standards to reduce sugar consumption, as set out in their childhood obesity plan for action, published in June 2018. See here.


News: Ministers pledge increase in children’s cycle training – BBC Online
7 February 2020.
  The government has pledged to make cycling proficiency lessons available to every child in England: more information here.


Open consultation:  Music Education: call for evidence – Department for Education
9 February 2020.
  Comments will be used to help inform the Department for Education as it develops proposals for the refresh of the national plan for music education:
Music education: call for evidence


Motion made: Children’s Mental Health Week – They Work For You
6 February 2020. 
Debate in the House of Commons during Children’s Mental Health Week: more information here.


News: Health visiting ‘perfect storm’ causing postcode lottery for families – Nursing Times
30 January 2020, Gemma Mitchell.
  The quality of health visiting service received by families in the UK varies depending on where they live, rather than their level of need, a charity has warned: Health visiting ‘perfect storm’ causing postcode lottery for families


News: Police uncovering ‘epidemic of child abuse’ in 1970s and 80s – Guardian Online
5 February 2020, Vikram Dodd. 
PM told to say sorry for remark about ‘spaffing’ money up wall as 4,024 claims lead to guilty verdicts: Police / ‘Epidemic of child abuse’ in 1970s and 80s uncovered


Guidance:  Radio waves: reducing exposure – Public Health England
4 February 2020.  Guidelines on reducing exposure to radio waves coming from mobile phones: Radio waves: reducing exposure


Press release: Unseen evil: Sex abuse in families going under the radar, say inspectorates – Ofsted, Care Quality Commission, Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services
4 February 2020. 
Findings from our joint targeted area inspections of ‘the multi-agency response to child sexual abuse in the family environment’ summarised in report published today: Unseen evil: Sex abuse in families going under the radar, say inspectorates


News: Child protection must be the Government’s first priority – and the Domestic Violence Bill is a crucial place to start, writes Baroness Benjamin – Politics Home
3 February 2020.
We all have hopes and wishes for the 2020s, and mine is that we finally get serious about protecting and supporting children who are vulnerable to crime. It’s been 10 years since I first took my seat in the House of Lords and a lot has changed in the last decade – but perhaps most of all for children. The rise of the internet, new technologies – gaming, social media, and more – the way children learn, play, and communicate has changed completely: Baroness Benjamin: We need joined-up policies on child protection


News: English schools buying in mental health support has ‘almost doubled’ in three years – Guardian Online
3 February 2020, Sally Weale. 
Poll finds 66% of school leaders commissioning professionals such as counsellors, up from 36% in 2016: Mental health / English schools buying in support has ‘almost doubled’ in three years


News: Why sport is critical for girls’ future prospects – TES Online
1 February 2020, Alex Hems. 
Primary school PE is key to laying the foundations for a healthy lifestyle in adulthood, says headteacher Alex Hems: Why sport is critical for girls’ future prospects


News: The nursery putting fitness at the heart of learning – BBC News Online
30 January 2020, Judith Burns. 
The statistics are terrible – study after study shows children all over the world are weaker, do less exercise and are less fit than in the past: see here for more details.


Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children: key findings – TES Online – News
30 January 2020, Henry Hepburn. 
Report from national pupil survey includes eyecatching findings around mobile phone use, healthy eating and underage sex: Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children: key findings


News: ‘Schools are killing curiosity’: why we need to stop telling children to shut up and learn – Guardian Online
28 January 2020,
Wendy Berliner.  Pupils who ask lots of questions get better results, especially those from poorer homes: more information here.


News: Mental health ‘chasm’ sees schools without counsellors – TES Online
30 January 2020, Dave Speck. 
Children’s commissioner report highlights huge gap between provision and pupils’ needs and finds that 40% of schools have no counselling services: Mental health ‘chasm’ sees schools without counsellors


Article: MPs urge Government to put children’s needs at the heart of new mental health legislation – Nursery World
29 January 2020, Katy Morton. 
A Labour MP has tabled a motion calling for children’s needs be made a focus of any reforms to the Mental Health Act, which were promised in the Queen’s Speech last month: see here for the full article.


News: Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP elected Chair of Health and Social Care Committee – Parliament UK – Health & Social Care Select Committee
30 January 2020. 
Following an election for the position of Chair, Jeremy Hunt – Conservative MP for South West Surrey – has been confirmed as the new Chair-elect of the Health and Social Care Select Committee: more details here.


News: Robert Halfon MP elected Chair of the Education Select Committee – Parliament UK – Education Select Committee
30 January 2020. 
Robert Halfon MP has been elected Chair of the Education Committee for this Parliament: details here.


News: Child mental health unit failings criticised by parents – BBC News Online
29 January 2020, Georgia Coan and Sam Bonham. 
The parents of a girl who killed herself at a mental health inpatient unit say failings have left them “devastated”. More information here.


News: Most children sleep with mobile phone beside bed – BBC News Online
30 January 2020, Sean Coughlan. 
More than half of children say they sleep with their mobile phone beside their bed, according to an annual survey of young people’s use of media: full story here.


Press release: Youth projects to benefit from £7 million government investment – Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, Office for Civil Society, Baroness Barran MBE, and The Rt Hon Baroness Nicky Morgan
30 January 2020.
Youth projects across the country will receive a share of a £7 million investment as part of the Government’s commitment to level up opportunities for young people: Youth projects to benefit from £7 million government investment


Statistical data set: Children’s social care data for the Ofsted Annual Report 2018/19 – Ofsted
29 January 2020. 
Social care data to accompany the Ofsted Annual Report 2018/19: Children’s social care data for the Ofsted Annual Report 2018/19


Official Statistics:  Breastfeeding at 6 to 8 weeks after birth: 2019 to 2020 quarterly data – Public Health England
29 January 2020. 
Number and proportion of infants who have been fully, partially or not at all breastfed at 6 to 8 weeks after birth: Breastfeeding at 6 to 8 weeks after birth: 2019 to 2020 quarterly data


Official Statistics:  Child development outcomes at 2 to 2 and a half years: 2019 to 2020 – Public Health England
29 January 2020. 
Quarterly local authority metrics on outcomes for children at 2 to 2 and a half years as measured by the Ages and Stages Questionnaire 3 (ASQ-3): Child development outcomes at 2 to 2 and a half years: 2019 to 2020


Lords Debates, Baroness d’Souza: Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit – Hansard
28 January 2020. 
Follow the link to see the important speech from Baroness D’Souza on holiday hunger affecting our children when schools are closed: Tokyo Nutrition for Growth Summit – Hansard


Press release: Ofsted consults on changes to inspection framework for teacher training – Ofsted
27 January 2020. 
Ofsted has today published a consultation on a new approach to inspecting initial teacher education (ITE): Ofsted consults on changes to inspection framework for teacher training


News: PE lessons and 5 other ways to boost early maths skills – TES Online
24 January 2020,
Catherine Lough. Education Endowment Foundation report highlights advice for laying a foundation for maths teaching in early years: PE lessons and 5 other ways to boost early maths skills


News: Governments ‘failing to protect child rights by not restricting junk food marketing’, says UN – Food Navigator
23 January 2020, Oliver Morrison. 
A new report from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) calls on governments in Europe and the rest of the world to protect child rights and adopt measures to restrict junk food marketing: Governments ‘failing to protect child rights by not restricting junk food marketing’, says UN


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