29/01/21 – Useful Links

Interesting links, articles, news and blog posts sent out to members on 29/01/21.

Article: Thousands of early years staff unable to access key worker places at school for their own children – Nursery World

27 January 2021, Nicole Weinstein.  Despite being classed as key workers, thousands of early years workers are being prevented from going to work because their own children have been denied school places, according to new research:

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/thousands-of-early-years-staff-unable-to-access-key-worker-places-at-school-for-their-own-children

Article: While calls for help about child abuse increase, 600,000 vulnerable children remain invisible to the state – Politics Home

26 January 2021, Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England.  Data shows an increase in calls about domestic abuse in the pandemic. However, with the number of referrals to social services going down, children are being forgotten when they need us most:

https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/child-abuse-increase-invisble-covid-19

Article: Concern as reports of Covid in early years settings more than double in a week – Nursery World

25 January 2021, Annette Rawstrone.  Reported incidences of Covid-19 in early years settings have more than doubled in a week, according to the latest Ofsted numbers:

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/concern-as-reports-of-covid-in-early-years-settings-more-than-double-in-a-week

News: ‘Knackered and confused.’ That’s just the parents – BBC Online

26 January 2021, Sean Coughlan.  Home schooling can be tough. It’s difficult to concentrate, there’s emotional exhaustion, boredom, a lack of motivation and it’s really hard not going out to see friends. And that’s just the parents:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-55800043]

Research and analysis: Remote education research – Ofsted

25 January 2021.  Ofsted’s summary of findings on remote learning from several strands of research activity that we carried out in 2020:

Remote education research

News: EYFS: Why are we still so under-appreciated? – TES Online

24 January 2021, Julian Grenier.  The first five years are crucial for development – yet the early years is still seen as an add-on:

https://www.tes.com/news/eyfs-why-are-we-still-so-under-appreciated

Research Briefing: Regulating online harms – House of Commons Library

22 January 2021.  This Library Paper looks at Government plans to regulate harmful content online:

Regulating online harms

Policy paper: Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy – Home Office

22 January 2021.  The Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy sets out our whole-system response to all forms of child sexual abuse:

Tackling Child Sexual Abuse Strategy

Article: Report reveals ‘hidden harms’ of spring lockdown on babies – Nursery World

19 January 2021, Nicole Weinstein.  Emerging evidence of the ‘harm’ that lockdown has had on babies is detailed in a new report launched today:

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/report-reveals-hidden-harms-of-spring-lockdown-on-babies

News: Covid: Early years staff safety ’cause for concern’ – BBC Online

22 January 2021, Oliver Barnes.  Many staff at nurseries, pre-schools and childminders “don’t feel safe at work”, says the Early Years Alliance:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-55758120

Article: Young people must be at the heart of Covid recovery – supporting their mental health is the first step – Politics Home

21 January 2021, Cat Smith MP.  The government has allowed a mental health crisis to overwhelm young people. It’s vital they receive urgent support, especially as we look to rebuild:

https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/young-people-must-be-at-the-heart-of-covid-recovery-supporting-their-mental-health-is-the-first-step

Article: Leadsom outlines emerging findings of the Government’s review into babies’ healthy development – Nursery World

20 January 2021, Nicole Weinstein.  Preliminary findings of the Early Years Healthy Development Review were outlined by Andrea Leadsom MP at the APPG on Conception to age two meeting, held yesterday:

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/leadsom-outlines-emerging-findings-of-the-government-s-review-into-babies-healthy-development

News: Ministers set to halt plans for daily Covid tests in English schools – Guardian Online

19 January 2021, Josh Halliday. Ministers are set to halt plans for daily coronavirus tests in England’s secondary schools after teachers expressed alarm that the flagship policy had not been approved by regulators:

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/jan/19/ministers-set-to-halt-plans-for-daily-covid-tests-in-english-schools

News: NHS Tavistock child gender clinic rated ‘inadequate’ – BBC Online

20 January 2021, Ben Hunte.  The NHS’s child gender-identity service has been rated “inadequate” after inspectors identified “significant concerns”:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55723250]

Article: The pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of our young people, we can’t just ignore it – Politics Home

18 January 2021, Munira Wilson MP. Even before COVID-19 existed 1 in 10 young people had a mental health issue, now that figure has risen to 1 in 8:

https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/the-pandemic-has-taken-its-toll-on-the-mental-health-of-our-young-people-we-cant-just-ignore-it

Research Briefing: Coronavirus: Separated Families and Contact with Children in Care FAQs (UK) – House of Commons Library

18 January 2021.  This paper provides brief information in response to some key questions regarding the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on separated families, maintenance arrangements and access to children:

Coronavirus: Separated Families and Contact with Children in Care FAQs (UK)

Article: ‘Urgent’ action needed to prevent the early years sector from collapse – workforce report – Nursery World

18 January 2021, Nicole Weinstein.  The early years sector is at risk of becoming unsustainable without ‘immediate intervention and urgent action’, the Early Years Workforce Commission (18 January) has said:

https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/drastic-action-needed-to-prevent-the-early-years-sector-from-collapse-workforce-report

Article: Myths about poverty must be refuted so that parents are trusted with £20 and not half a pepper – Politics Home

14 January 2021, Sam Freedman.  Why is government faffing around with miserable food boxes when the problem could be easily solved by giving families additional money via universal credit?:

https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/myths-about-poverty-must-be-refuted-so-that-parents-on-benefits-will-be-trusted-with-20-and-not-half-a-pepper

News: Review of children’s social care system launched – BBC Online

15 January 2021, Lucy Webster.  The government has launched an independent review into the children’s care sector in England.  It will be lead by a former teacher, Josh MacAlister, who founded the social work charity Frontline in 2013:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-55677777

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

15 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)

Research Briefing: Opposition Day Debate: Access to Remote Education and the Quality of Free School Meals – House of Commons Library

On Monday 18 January 2021, there was an Opposition Day Debate on access to remote education and the quality of free school meals. This landing page highlights some of the available data and also provides links to existing Library and other briefings on these issues:

Opposition Day Debate: Access to Remote Education and the Quality of Free School Meals

News: Row over half term free school meals plan – BBC Online

14 January 2021, Hannah Richardson. The government has defended its scheme to offer free food to struggling families in England over half term – after criticism from teachers’ unions and council leaders:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-55663564

News: Marcus Rashford and top chefs demand free school meals review – BBC Online

15 January 2021, Jennifer Scott.  Marcus Rashford and a group of celebrity chefs and campaigners have called on Boris Johnson to review the government’s free school meals policy:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-55670096]

News: Children’s activity levels down but many embrace new opportunities – Sport England

14 January 2021.  The number of children and young people who were physically active fell during the 2019/20 academic year in England, as first storms and then the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic restricted the type of activities available:

https://www.sportengland.org/news/childrens-activity-levels-down-many-embrace-new-opportunities

Open consultation: Reforming the Mental Health Act – Department of Health and Social Care

13 January 2021.  Views sought on changes to the Mental Health Act to help put patients at the centre of decisions about their own care:

Reforming the Mental Health Act

News: Ministers urged to change ‘food parcel first’ policy by parents in England – Guardian Online

12 January 2021, Sally Weale and Patrick Butler.  One provider offers refunds for children’s lunches after widespread criticisms of meagre parcels:

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2021/jan/12/food-parcel-first-policy-under-pressure-after-outcry-from-parents-in-england