19/03/21 – Useful Links

Interesting links, articles, news and blog posts sent out to members on 19/03/21.

Report: Support for children’s education during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic – National Audit Office

17 March 2021.  The report covers: the Department for Education’s overall response to the pandemic (Part One); the support provided for child ren’s learning, both in school and remotely (Part Two); and the impact of disrupted schooling on children (Part Three). We set out our audit approach in Appendix One and our evidence base in Appendix Two. A timeline of key events in the school system between March and July 2020 is in Appendix Three:


Written Evidence: Children and young people’s mental health Select Committee Inquiry – UK Parliament

16 March 2021. Written evidence submitted by the Intergenerational Foundation (CYP0015):


Official Statistics: Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: 23 March 2020 to 11 March 2021 – Department for Education

16 March 2021.  Attendance in education settings since Monday 23 March 2020 and early years settings since Thursday 16 April 2020:


Nursery World – Article: New children’s commissioner launches review into post-war style recovery plan for children

16 March 2021, Nicole Weinstein. A ‘once-in-a-generation’ review of the future of childhood is being launched today by England’s newly-appointed children’s commissioner:


News: Everyone’s Invited: Children recount ‘rape culture’ experiences – BBC Online

16 March 2021, Cristina Criddle.  An online campaign inviting users to post anonymous testimonies of sexual assault and harassment has been growing in popularity. The collection of more than 4,100 testimonies include accounts from girls aged as young as nine. The youngsters have written personal accounts of “rape culture”, identifying the school or university the alleged perpetrators attended:


News: New children’s commissioner pledges to ‘rebuild’ childhood – BBC Online

17 March 2021, Sean Coughlan. The new children’s commissioner for England wants to “rebuild childhood” after the disruption of the pandemic.  Dame Rachel de Souza says the scale of the challenge is like reconstructing the social security system in the wake of World War Two:


Call for evidence: Children’s Homes – UK Parliament

15 March 2021.  Education Committee call for evidence on Children’s Homes:


News: School poverty cash at risk in date switch – BBC Online

13 March 2021, Sean Coughlan.  Schools in England face a “significant cash loss” from a change in the date for counting disadvantaged pupils eligible for extra support, says the Education Policy Institute:


News: APPG members praised for making their voices heard on the new Mental Health Bill and urges further action – All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood

14 March 2021.  Helen Clark, the APPG’s Lead Author has praised APPG members for making their voices heard on the new Mental Health Bill and urges further action:

News: By accident, lockdown has shown English schools the secret of closing the achievement gap – Guardian Online

13 March 2021, Laura McInerney.  Many children have benefited from working at their own pace online. Now Gavin Williamson must give every pupil the tools to do so:


News: School poverty cash at risk in date switch – BBC Online

13 March 2021, Sean Coughlan.  Schools in England face a “significant cash loss” from a change in the date for counting disadvantaged pupils eligible for extra support, says the Education Policy Institute:


Research Briefing: Children’s social care services in England – House of Commons Library

12 March 2021.  An overview of children’s services in England, focused on demand and funding:

Children’s social care services in England

Free online conference – Parents and Communities in the Driving Seat – National Children’s Bureau

25 March 2021.  Involving and empowering parents and communities is fundamental to all that the 10-year A Better Start programme does, and we’ve learned the importance of recognising the expertise of families in their own unique lives:


Research Briefing: The pupil premium – House of Commons Library

11 March 2021.  This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper provides an overview of policy on the Pupil Premium since its introduction in 2011, including funding levels, eligibility criteria, and accountability:

The Pupil Premium

Press release: CMA launches study of children’s social care provision – Competition and Markets Authority

12 March 2021.  The CMA has today launched a study of children’s social care provision to establish why a lack of availability and increasing costs could be leading to the needs of children in care not being met:

CMA launches study of children’s social care provision

Open consultation: Changes that the government wants to make to a law called the Mental Health Act (easy read) – Department of Health and Social Care

11 March 2021.  The law on looking after people with mental health problems may change, please look at the proposed ideas and give your feedback:


News: Call for deprived areas to develop home-grown teachers – TES Online

John Roberts, 11 March 2021.  The government’s ‘tunnel vision’ on education is failing disadvantaged communities, the shadow schools minister will warn:

Call for deprived areas to develop home grown teachers

News: Covid: Gavin Williamson ‘looking at’ longer school day and shorter holidays – BBC Online

7 March 2021.  Longer school days and shorter holidays are among the measures the government is considering to help pupils in England catch up on lost learning, the education secretary has said:


Debate: Full text of Commons debate on Maternal Mental Health – Parallel Parliament

10 March 2021.  Full text of Commons debate on Maternal Mental Health:


House of Commons, Education Committee: Formal meeting (oral evidence session): The impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services – UK Parliament

16 March 2021.  Oral evidence session Tuesday 16th March 9:30 a.m.: The impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services:


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

9 March 2021.  For information on accessing food banks and food parcels during the pandemic please see our briefing Coronavirus: Support for household finances. For an account of developments in food bank activity over the crisis period see section 2 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

Research Briefing: Advertising to children – House of Commons Library

9 March 2021.  This Commons briefing paper looks at the current advertising regulatory system in the UK, with specific reference to advertising to children:

Advertising to children

Press release: New Action Group to boost mental health education: Department for Education, Department of Health and Social Care, Nadine Dorries MP, Vicky Ford MP, Michelle Donelan MP, and The Rt Hon Gavin Williamson CBE MP

9 March 2021.  Group of ministers, charities and Youth Ambassador Dr. Alex George to focus on improving mental health and wellbeing in school, college and university:


Article: Labour wants ‘big conversation’ on early years – Nursery World

5 March 2021.  Labour plans to hold ‘a big conversation’ with those in the early years to hear from providers about what needs to change to transform the sector, including ensuring providers receive the ‘proper funding’ they ‘deserve’:


News: Child abuse laws to be expanded in England and Wales – BBC Online

9 March 2021.  Sports coaches and faith leaders who have sexual relationships with 16 and 17-year-olds in their care will be breaking the law under new legislation planned for England and Wales:


Article: New food-first tactics are needed to tackle the modifiable factors involved in obesity and metabolic dysregulation – Politics Home

8 March 2021, British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT): Figures show that a staggering 63% of the British population is now classified as overweight or obese. And being overweight is just the tip of the iceberg. Once you scratch below the surface the number of related metabolic health conditions grows exponentially with 2 million adults at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, 6 out of 10 adults living with high cholesterol and 1 in 4 adults with high blood pressure:


News: Pupil wellbeing must be priority, teachers say as classrooms in England reopen – MSN News

7 March 2021, Donna Ferguson, Harriet Grant and Michael Savage. Schools will prioritise pupils’ emotional and physical needs when classrooms fully reopen tomorrow, as two major reports warn of a crisis in children’s wellbeing and in the opportunities to play with their friends:


News: Gavin Williamson hints school summer holidays could be shortened PERMANENTLY as he says government is looking at moving to a five-term year – Mail Online

5 March 2021, James Tapfield. The Education Secretary said the government is looking at doing things in a ‘different way’ as it scrambles to help children catch up after the coronavirus lockdowns:


News: Covid: Mental health money for children’s services – BBC Online

5 March 2021, Rachel Schraer.  Money to support children and young people’s mental health after the “disruption” of the pandemic has been cautiously welcomed.  It is part of a £500m pot for mental health services across the board, announced in November:


News: Boris Johnson announces £70m fund to tackle obesity crisis – City AM

4 March 2021, Poppy Wood.  The Prime Minister has announced councils in England will receive an extra £70m to help overweight and obese people to slim down, including plans to offer financial rewards for those who manage to lose weight:

Article: Mental health to be greatest challenge in children’s health in 2040 – Willis Palmer

March 2021. The greatest challenge facing children in 20 years’ time will be mental health problems, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has warned.  The College asked almost 300 members what they envisage will be the biggest health issue affecting children and young people in 2040. The top three responses were mental health (43.71%), obesity (31.14%) and climate change (10.78%):

Written Evidence: Education Select Committee Inquiry: The impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services – Parliament UK

February 2021.  Written evidence submitted by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England to the Education Select Committee Inquiry: The impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services:


Press release: £79 million to boost mental health support for children and young people – Department of Health and Social Care

5 March 2021.  Millions more children and young people will have access to significantly expanded mental health services, backed by £79 million:


News: Why we need to put pupils’ friendships above learning – TES Online

3 March 2021, Connie Bennett.  As pupils return to school, their focus needs to be on learning to be sociable again:


Press release: New specialised support to help those living with obesity to lose weight – Department of Health and Social Care

4 March 2021.  Children, adults and families will be better supported to achieve and maintain a healthier weight through £100 million of new government support:


News: Covid deaths high in countries with more overweight people, says report – Guardian Online

3 March 2021, Sarah Boseley.  Governments urged to prioritise obese people for vaccinations over greater risk of death from coronavirus:


Article: Leading academics call for a summer of play – Nursery World

3 March 2021, Nicole Weinstein.  Children’s social and emotional well-being should be put at the heart of their return to school, a group of child psychologists and education specialists have said:

Leading academics call for a summer of play

Article: Coronavirus: Early years sector faces predicted losses of a quarter of a billion pounds this term – Nursery World

2 March 2021, Catherine Gaunt.  Early years settings are set to lose £247 million in funding this spring term, according to research by the Early Years Alliance and Ceeda:

Coronavirus: Early years sector faces predicted losses of a quarter of a billion pounds this term

Blog: The Case for Outdoor Play—and How COVID-19 May Be Helping – Psychology Today

2 March 2021, Cara DiYanni. Outdoor and free play have declined, but COVID-19 may be reversing the trend:


Research Briefing: Maternal mental health – House of Commons Library

9 March 2021.  A Westminster Hall debate on the ‘Maternal mental health’ scheduled for Wednesday 10 March 2021 from 2.30-4.00pm. The debate has been initiated by Sarah Olney MP:

Maternal mental health

News: Schools tsar says England’s £1.7bn Covid catch-up package not enough – Guardian Online

2 March 2021, Sally Weale.  Education recovery commissioner tells MPs children will need long-term support plan:


Article: ‘Worrying’ increases in mental health symptoms among primary school children – study – Nursery World

1 March 2021, Nicole Weinstein. Emotional and behavioural mental health symptoms have again increased among primary school children during the latest lockdown, according to new research:


Official Statistics: 2021 Child health profiles – Public Health England

2 March 2021. Profiles providing an overview of child health and wellbeing for each local authority in England:


Coronavirus doctor’s diary: Study shows one-in-three children have rarely been leaving the house – BBC Online

1 March 2021. A new study indicates that only a third of children in Bradford had sufficient exercise in the first lockdown, last spring – and that a similar proportion were rarely leaving the home. Dr John Wright, of Bradford Royal Infirmary, says this is contributing to a different kind of health crisis, one that began long before the pandemic, but risks becoming worse because of it:


News: Why later EYFS start ages around the world offers hope – TES Online

28 February 2021, Gemma Tonge. Around the world, school starts at different ages and children learn just as well – which should ease concerns about lost learning, says this international teacher:


Article: The need for a children’s mental health strategy isn’t new – but it is more vital than ever – Politics Home

26 February 2021, Lisa Cameron MP. A new Mental Health Act placing children and young people for the first time at the heart of legislation would be a fitting memorial for this pandemic: