12/01/21 – Useful Links

Interesting links, articles, news and blog posts sent out to members on12/01/21

News: Free school meals: Rashford meets with food parcel provider after outcry – BBC Online

12 January 2021.  Marcus Rashford has raised concerns about the supply of food parcels to children on free school meals in England while schools are in lockdown.  The footballer had shared images of what appeared to be the parcels, saying they were “just not good enough”:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55628428

Research Briefing: Support for pupils’ education during school closures – House of Commons Library

11 January 2021. A Westminster Hall debate on the ‘Support for pupils’ education during school closures’ has been scheduled for Wednesday 13 January 2021 from 9.30-11.00am. The debate has been initiated by Matt Western MP. This debate pack sets out current policy on support for pupils, statistical information, recent parliamentary proceedings and related news:

Support for pupils’ education during school closures

Research Briefing: Obesity Statistics – House of Commons Library

11 January 2021.  28% of adults in England are obese and a further 36% are overweight. This briefing provides statistics on the obesity among adults and children in the UK, along with data on bariatric surgery and international comparisons:

Obesity Statistics

News: ‘Grave threat’ to children from predatory internet groomers as online child sexual abuse material soars to record levels – Internet Watch Foundation

12 January 2021.  A record number of reports of online child sexual abuse have been processed by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF):

https://www.iwf.org.uk/news-grave-threat-to-children-from-predatory-internet-groomers-as-online-child-sexual-abuse

Article: Don’t lose sight of children’s mental health during lockdown – experts – Nursery World

8 January 2021, Nicole Weinstein.  Loss of contact with friends contributed to a decline in children’s mental health and well-being during the previous lockdown – and researchers at the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF) warn that this time round could be ‘even worse’:

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/don-t-lose-sight-of-children-s-mental-health-during-lockdown-experts

Article: Coronavirus: MPs to debate petition calling for vaccinations for early years workers and teachers – Nursery World

7 January 2021, Nicole Weinstein. Prioritising Covid-19 vaccinations for childcare staff and teachers will be debated in Parliament on Monday (11 January), following a petition which has so far received more than 342,000 signatures:

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/coronavirus-mps-to-debate-petition-calling-for-vaccinations-for-early-years-workers-and-teachers

Article: Coronavirus: Government revises guidance for children of key workers – Nursery World

11 January 2021, Nicole Weinstein.  Children of keyworkers should stay at home ‘if they can’, the Government has said, in the latest change to school guidance:

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/coronavirus-government-revises-guidance-for-children-of-key-workers

News: ‘Show us it’s safe’ to be open, say nursery staff – BBC Online

8 January 2021, Hannah Richardson. Childcare organisations are demanding to see evidence that it is safe for them to remain open while schools and colleges have closed to most pupils:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-55574297

News: Covid-19: The challenges of home-schooling – BBC Online

11 January 2021, Jane Wakefield.  A mother wakes at dawn to copy out worksheets for her children on to pieces of paper. Secondary school pupils attempt to write essays on their mobile phones, while younger children queue to wait their turn on the one computer in the house. That, according to the Child Poverty Action Group, was the reality of remote learning in some homes in the first UK lockdown in March 2020:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-55573803

Research Briefing: Debate on online anonymity – House of Commons Library

8 January 2021.  A Westminster Hall debate on online anonymity is scheduled for Wednesday 13 January 2021 at 2.30pm. The debate will be opened by Damian Hinds MP:

Debate on online anonymity

Article: Early years have been treated as an afterthought, the sector is now on the brink of collapse – Politics Home

8 January 2021, Tulip Siddiq MP.  It’s time for government to start taking early years seriously, by publishing the scientific data behind the decision to keep them open and provide targeted support the sector so badly needs:

https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/early-years-have-been-treated-as-an-afterthought-during-covid-leaving-the-sector-on-the-brink-of-collapse

Research Briefing: School meals and nutritional standards (England) – House of Commons Library

7 January 2021. The main recent policy developments regarding school meals in England, including the revised school food standards and provision of free school meals:

School meals and nutritional standards (England)

Article: We need a long-term education plan to ensure left-behind pupils aren’t mired in a Covid swamp – Politics Home

6 January 2021, Rob Halfron MP. The decision to close schools will accelerate education social injustices. We need to ensure a level playing field for all students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds:

https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/we-need-a-longterm-education-plan-to-ensure-leftbehind-pupils-arent-mired-in-a-coronavirus-swamp

Article: Nurseries call for early years staff to be vaccinated – Nursery World

6 January 2021, Nicole Weinstein.  Nursery groups are calling on the Government to commit to prioritising childcare workers for vaccination against Covid-19:

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/nurseries-call-for-early-years-staff-to-be-vaccinated

News: Who should tackle the biggest cause of premature death when PHE is gone? – Open Access Government

6 January 2021.  Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director and Mhairi Brown, Policy and Public Affairs Manager of Action on Sugar and Action on Salt, debate who should be responsible for tackling the biggest cause of premature death and disability in the UK when Public Health England is dissolved:

Who should tackle the biggest cause of premature death when PHE is gone?

News: BBC to put lessons on TV during lockdown – BBC Online

6 January 2021. BBC TV is to help children keep up with their studies during the latest lockdown by broadcasting lessons on BBC Two and CBBC, as well as online:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-55552962

Article: Coronavirus: Nurseries ‘ignored’ by Government in row over reopening schools – Nursery World

4 January 2021, Catherine Gaunt. Nurseries and early years settings have criticised the Government for failing to include them in discussions with schools about whether it is safe for them to stay open, given the ongoing rise in cases of Covid-19:

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/coronavirus-nurseries-ignored-by-government-in-row-over-reopening-schools

Resource: Quotable quotes on the effect of the pandemic on children’s mental health – All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood

January 2021.  As we enter a further lockdown, Phil Royal shares quotes on the effect of the pandemic on children’s mental health:

News: New restrictions in the UK – MQ Mental Health Research

4 January 2021, Bryony Doughty.  Going into another UK wide lockdown will have an impact on the mental health of the nation. We just don’t know yet what it will be:

Research Briefing: Children and young people’s mental health – policy, CAMHS services, funding and education – House of Commons Library

23 December 2021.  House of Commons Library briefing on children and young people’s mental health policy:

Children and young people’s mental health – policy, CAMHS services, funding and education

Research Briefing: Mental health support for young people: a reading list – House of Commons Library

22 December 2021. This reading list provides links to relevant reports and research on supporting children and young people with mental health issues. It also includes links to sources of further information and advice:

Mental health support for young people: a reading list

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

8 January 2021.  This House of Commons Library Briefing provides information in response to some key questions relating to childcare during the coronavirus outbreak:

Coronavirus: Childcare FAQs

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

5 January 2021. This briefing paper looks at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on schools and pupils. It largely focuses on England, and has been updated for the beginning of the January 2021 term:

Coronavirus and schools: FAQs

Press release: Promotions of unhealthy foods restricted from April 2022 – Department of Health and Social Care

28 December 2021.  Promotions on food and drinks high in fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) in retailers will be restricted from April 2022, the government has confirmed:

Promotions of unhealthy foods restricted from April 2022

News: Parents warned of ‘sharp rise’ in eating disorders – BBC Online

29 December 2020, Smitha Mundasad.  The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is urging parents to look out for signs of eating disorders in children and young people:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55468632