13/11/20 – Useful Links

Interesting links, articles, news and blog posts sent out to members on 13/11/20.

News: Half of children entitled to free school meals did not have access to the scheme during COVID-19 lockdown in the UK – Science Direct

October 2020, JC Parnham, AA Laverty, A Majeed, EP Vamos. Half of free school meal eligible children could not access the scheme in April 2020. Free school meal access differed by income level, school type and country. Access to a free school meal was associated with the recent use of a food bank:


News: Children in care ‘failed’ while some providers ‘make millions’ – BBC News Online

11 November 2020, Judith Burns.  The most vulnerable children are being “failed by the state” and a broken residential care system, the children’s commissioner for England has said:


Press release: New public consultation on total ban of online advertising for unhealthy foods – Department of Health and Social Care and Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport

10 November 2020.  A new consultation has been launched on proposals to ban online adverts for foods high in fat, sugar and salt in the UK to tackle the obesity crisis and get the nation fit and healthy:

New public consultation on total ban of online advertising for unhealthy foods

Platform: Andrea Leadson and Tim Loughton: How to help make the most of a baby’s first crucial thousand and one days – Conservative Home

10 November 2020.  “The Coronavirus lockdowns have shown us as never before the vital importance of supporting new families in the period from pregnancy to birth, and infancy. It is during those crucial 1,001 days from conception to age two that a baby is fast developing both physically and emotionally, and the quality of engagement with the key carer (often mum) has a profound impact”:

Research Briefing: Obesity and the Covid-19 outbreak – House of Commons Library

9 November 2020.   A debate will be held in Westminster Hall at 9.30am on Tuesday 10 November 2020 on Obesity and the Covid-19 outbreak. The debate will be opened by Jim Shannon MP:

Obesity and the Covid-19 outbreak

Research Briefing: Obesity – House of Commons Library

9 November 2020.  Obesity Report – This paper covers the work of the UK Government in preventing and reducing obesity, which in recent years has greatly focussed on reducing obesity prevalence in children:


Press release: Ofsted: Children hardest hit by COVID-19 pandemic are regressing in basic skills and learning – Ofsted:

10 November 2020.  Ofsted has today published its second report on the effects of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic across the sectors it inspects and regulates:

Ofsted: Children hardest hit by COVID-19 pandemic are regressing in basic skills and learning

Research & Analysis: COVID-19 series: briefing on early years, October 2020 – Ofsted

10 November 2020.  Evidence from research interviews with 208 registered early years providers and maintained nursery schools between 5 and 16 October:

COVID-19 series: briefing on early years, October 2020

News: Marcus Rashford welcomes school holiday support climbdown – BBC News Online

8 November 2020, Hannah Richardson. The government is to spend more than £400m to support poor children and their families in England, following a campaign by footballer Marcus Rashford:


Article: As second lockdown begins, charities urge government to tackle child poverty – Willis Palmer

November 2020.  Prime minister Boris Johnson has been urged to do more to protect vulnerable children from a ‘winter of hunger and hardship’ by leading children’s charities:

News: Childhood obesity reaches ‘record high’ – Nursery World

5 November 2020, Nicole Weinstein. Children living in deprived areas are more than twice as likely to be obese than those living in more affluent areas, findings from the Government’s National Child Measurement Programme for England reveal:


News: ‘Toxic lockdown’ sees huge rise in babies harmed or killed – BBC News Online

6 November 2020, Hannah Richardson.  There was an alarming 20% rise in babies being killed or harmed during the first lockdown, Ofsted’s chief inspector Amanda Spielman has revealed:


Blog: What the new national restrictions mean for education settings – Department for Education

5 November 2020.  “On Saturday the Prime Minister announced that, from today, the country will enter a new period of national restrictions until at least 2 December. Unlike the last national lockdown in the spring, this time schools, nurseries and other education settings will remain open to all pupils, not just vulnerable pupils and children of key workers”:

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

4 November 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

Blog: Why we are keeping education settings open – Department for Education

5 November 2020.  From Thursday 5 November, the country will enter a second month-long national period of restrictions, during which time non-essential shops, hospitality settings and more will be closed. This time, however, the government is keeping all education settings open:

News: Coronavirus: Poorest pupils can enrol for catch-up tuition – BBC News Online

2 November 2020.  Disadvantaged pupils in England could begin focused tuition as early as next week, as booking opens for the new National Tutoring Programme:


Research Briefing: Coronavirus: Childcare FAQs – House of Commons Library

10 November 2020.  This House of Commons Library Briefing provides information in response to some key questions relating to childcare during the coronavirus outbreak:

Coronavirus: Childcare FAQs

News: Coronavirus: Grassroots football in England suspended during lockdown – BBC News Online

3 November 2020.  All adult and children’s grassroots football is to be suspended in England during the national Covid-19 lockdown.  Restrictions will run from Thursday, 5 November until Wednesday, 2 December:


Article: After The Rashford Row: What Next For The Government And Child Poverty? – Politics Home

2 November 2020, Alain Tolhurst.  The Tories took a hammering after Boris Johnson refused to cave in to Marcus Rashford’s free school meals campaign. But could it mark a watershed for the party in the long run?:


News: Why do so many educators dismiss the early years? – TES Online

31 October 2020, Sue Palmer.  When a respected educationalist refers to early years as ‘herding kittens’, it makes me want to scream:


Research Briefing: Coronavirus and Schools: FAQs – House of Commons Library

30 October 2020.  This briefing paper looks at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools and pupils. It largely focuses on England, but includes some information about Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland:

Coronavirus and schools: FAQs

News: A hidden mental health epidemic is threatening our children – City AM

30 October 2020, Beatrice Butsana-Sita. Those living in poorer communities are less likely to have access to gardens or safe green spaces where kids can play and exercise:

A hidden mental health epidemic is threatening our children

Article: Government should be shocked into action over rise in mental ill health among young people – Willis Palmer

October 2020.  Anne Longfield’s warnings come as NHS figures show that the proportion of children experiencing a probable mental disorder has increased over the past three years, from one in nine in 2017 to one in six in July this year: 

News: Obesity on the rise among reception-aged children in England, statistics show –

29 October 2020, Alexandra Thompson.  Statistics have revealed obesity is on the rise among reception-aged children in England:

Obesity on the rise among reception-aged children in England, statistics show

Blog: Lockdown research emphasises importance of early years settings for disadvantaged children – Department for Education

29 October 2020.  A study by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), has shown that babies and toddlers from lower socio-economic backgrounds have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic due to having less access to books and outdoor space during lockdown:

News: Treasury rejects claims it refused extra £150m for free school meals – Guardian Online

26 October 2020, Jessica Elgot and Peter Walker.  Education secretary Gavin Williamson did not ask for funds for half-term, say officials:


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