14/10/20 – Useful Links

Interesting links, articles, news and blog posts sent out to members on 14/10/20

News: Covid: Student anger over ‘junk’ food parcels in isolation – BBC News Online

11 October 2020, George Bowden & Lauren Turner.  Universities are facing anger from students over conditions some have faced while self-isolating in campus accommodation. Students have criticised the cost and quality of food provided to them by universities while in isolation:


News: Surge in number of UK children applying for free school meals – Guardian Online

12 October 2020, Patrick Butler.  There has been a surge in the number of UK children registering for free school meals, with an estimated 1 million pupils recently signing up for the first time, according to food poverty campaigners:


News: Marcus Rashford given MBE in birthday honours for school meals campaign – Guardian Online

9 October 2020, Caroline Davies.  Footballer urges PM to extend scheme after being included on diverse list delayed by pandemic:

Marcus Rashford / Footballer given MBE in birthday honours for school meals campaign

News: Covid: What is the mental health cost to the young? – BBC News Online:

10 October 2020, Philippa Roxby. Thousands of students are in enforced self-isolation at universities, and thousands more children are missing out on school because of positive Covid tests in their midst:


News: No on-site counselling in half of schools, research says – BBC News Online

9 October 2020, Hannah Richardson.  Fewer than half of state schools in England offer counselling for pupils on site in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, research says. The Institute of Public Policy Research study says fewer schools offer such services now than in 2010 and schools in more deprived areas were most likely to have lost out:


Press release: Third year of industry progress to reduce sugar published – Public Health England

7 October 2020.  Public Health England publishes third annual report on industry action to reduce sugar levels in products that contribute most to children’s sugar intakes:

Third year of industry progress to reduce sugar published

Research and analysis: Sugar reduction: report on progress between 2015 and 2019 – Public Health England

8 October 2020.  Progress report on the sugar reduction programme between 2015 and 2019, principally for the food industry and public health bodies:

Sugar reduction: report on progress between 2015 and 2019

News: Sugar reduction in food well below target of 20% – BBC News Online

7 October 2020.  There was a small 3% overall reduction in sugar in food products sold between 2015 and 2019, according to a Public Health England (PHE) report:


Robert Halfon: Delivering social justice means feeding children properly. We’re not doing so – and we must – Conservative Home

7 October 2020, Robert Halfon MP. “Combating child food hunger should be as much a priority for this Government as its work on improving education standards. After all, we know the two are interlinked. Unsurprisingly, the evidence shows that hungry children not only do not learn at school, but have damaged life chances later on”:

Research: Obesity prevention in the early years: A mapping study of national policies in England from a behavioural science perspective – National Library of Medicine

30 September 2020, Helen Croker, Simon J Russell, Aswathikutty Gireesh, Aida Bonham, Corinna Hawkes, Helen Bedford, Susan Michie, Russell M Viner. PLoS One. 2020 Sep 30;15(9):e0239402. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239402. This study aimed to systematically identify and categorise policy levers used in England with potential to influence early life course (pregnancy, 0-5 years) and identify how these interface with energy balance behaviours. The objective is to identify gaps and where further policy actions could most effectively focus:

Obesity prevention in the early years: A mapping study of national policies in England from a behavioural science perspective. 

Research: A critical review of national physical activity policies relating to children and young people in England – National Library of Medicine

30 September 2020, Anna Chalkley & Karen Milton. J Sport Health Sci. 2020 Sep 30;S2095-2546(20)30129-0.doi: 10.1016/j.jshs.2020.09.010. The current paper aimed to review the policy actions that have addressed each of these elements for children and youth in England and to identify areas of progress and remaining challenges:

A critical review of national physical activity policies relating to children and young people in England. 

Questionnaire:  Early years healthy development review: call for evidence – Department of Health and Social Care

October 2020. Our Early Years Healthy Development Review, led by Government advisor Andrea Leadsom MP, will help ensure every child is given the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their background, and achieve their full potential. We are grateful for responses from new parents, health service professionals, charities and volunteer groups, so that your views can help to shape the outcome of the review:


Article: Children’s directors call for a resource intensive, long-term approach to working with children and families – Willis Palmer:

October 2020.  The Association of Directors of Children’s Services has produced a position statement for the Comprehensive Spending Review which states that local government funding has decreased by 50% since 2010 and funding for preventative services such as children’s centres and youth clubs has fallen by 60 per cent. However, children assessed as being in need has risen by 4.5% and there are almost 20% more children in care:

News: Safety and impact of home education to be probed by MPs – TES Online

30 September 2020, Dave Speck.  MPs ask if councils and inspections can ‘play a more active role’ in ensuring children are ‘safe and not missing out’:


News: Why early maths teaching should focus on play – TES Online

30 September 2020, Jon Severs. Children need structured intervention to build maths skills – but they don’t have to sit at desks, says Camilla Gilmore:


Research Briefing: Online Harms – House of Commons Library

1 October 2020.  A Westminster Hall debate on Online Harms is scheduled for 7 October 2020. The Member leading the debate is Holly Lynch MP:

Online Harms

Research Briefing: Food Banks in the UK – House of Commons Library

30 September 2020.  For an account of developments in food bank activity over the crisis period see section 7 of this paper, Food Banks in the UK. Recent research means we have increasing amounts of data on food banks, giving us a fuller picture of their provision across the UK, and providing a more detailed picture of the characteristics of food bank users:

Food Banks in the UK

News: Children ‘must be the priority’ in Covid-19 planning – BBC News Online

28 September 2020.  Children must be the priority at this stage of the Covid-19 crisis, says England’s Children Commissioner. Anne Longfield calls for a recovery package to tackle a “rising tide of childhood vulnerability”:


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