30/03/21 – Useful Links

Interesting links, articles, news and blog posts sent out to members on 30/03/21.

Guidance: Summer schools programme – Department for Education

30 March 2021.  Details of the summer schools programme for secondary schools including funding, requirements for running a summer school and best practice evidence:


News: UK ‘to drop plans for online junk-food ad ban’ – Just Food.com

29 March 2021, Dean Best. Dr Emma Boyland, senior lecturer in appetite and obesity at the University of Liverpool, said such a move would be “hugely disappointing”:

UK ‘to drop plans for online junk-food ad ban’

Transparency data: Free school meals: autumn 2020 – Department for Education

30 March 2021.  Statistics on free school meals in schools in England as collected in the October 2020 school census:


Article: ‘Start for Life’ support package to be launched for new parents – Nursery World

25 March 2021, Nicole Weinstein. Andrea Leadsom has launched the long-awaited Early Years Healthy Development Review, which sets out a vision for improving babies’ healthy development and reducing inequalities in the first 1,001 days of life:


Article: Child Poverty hits record high – Nursery World

26 March 2021, Katy Morton. The number of children in poverty has now risen to 4.3 million, reveal new Government figures:


News: DfE warns schools could be closed over ‘rape culture’ claims – Guardian Online

28 March 2021, Haroon Siddique.  Schools that fail safeguarding rules risk closure after sexual abuse allegations posted on Everyone’s Invited:


Press release: New Office for Health Promotion to drive improvement of nation’s health – Department of Health and Social Care

29 March 2021.  The new Office for Health Promotion will lead national efforts to improve and level up the health of the nation by tackling obesity, improving mental health and promoting physical activity:


Report: Unsafe Children: Driving Up Our Country’s Response to Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation – The Centre for Social Justice

28 March 2021. “If we could do one thing to overhaul the response to child sexual abuse and exploitation, it would be for our country, both private citizens – who are all potential jurors – and professionals, to better understand how broad the cohort of victims/survivors can be, how differently they can present and move away from our erroneous view of these people as a monolith. If we do not achieve this, we will miss opportunities to protect children from sexual abuse as we will remain insufficiently cognisant of the risk”:


Research Briefing: The school curriculum in England – House of Commons Library

26 March 2021.  This note provides an overview of the curriculum in state-funded schools in England. It outlines what schools have to teach and at what ages. It also provides historical information on the development and revision of the national curriculum since its inception:

The school curriculum in England

News: Maternal exposure to small amounts of nitrate in drinking water results in smaller babies – News Medical

24 March 2021, reviewed by Emily Henderson. The more nitrate there is in mothers’ drinking water, the smaller the babies they give birth to. But alarmingly, the declining birth weight can also be registered when the women are exposed to nitrate levels below the EU’s threshold of 50 milligrams of nitrate per litre:


Article: Coronavirus: Concern early years sector won’t be able to cope with demand for places after lockdown – Nursery World

26 March 2021, Katy Morton. With new findings revealing settings have been heavily reliant on the furlough scheme, there are fears nurseries would struggle with a sudden rise in demand for places:

Coronavirus: Concern early years sector won’t be able to cope with demand for places after lockdown

Article: Children’s residential care sector overwhelmed by seven reviews – Willis Palmer

March 2021.  With seven reviews currently requiring answers from the children’s services sector, the National Centre for Excellence in Residential Care warns that with no coordination and no consistency there is potential for contradictory conclusions:

Research and analysis: Improving families’ lives: annual report of the Troubled Families Programme 2020 to 2021 – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

This fifth annual report of the Troubled Families Programme provides an update on progress made during 2020 to 2021:


Research Briefing: The School Day and Year – House of Commons Library

24 March 2021.  The rules and debate relating to the setting of school hours and term times. Do children benefit from a longer school day or year?:

Press release: Government publishes review to improve babies’ and children’s healthy development – Department of Health and Social Care

25 March 2021.  Babies and children in England will get a better start in life following the publication of a review into reducing inequalities in the first 1,001 days of life:


Policy paper: The best start for life: a vision for the 1,001 critical days – Department of Health and Social Care

25 March 2021.  Developed as part of the early years healthy development review, this document outlines 6 areas for action to improve the health outcomes of all babies in England:


News: The road to recovery for the childcare market – Nursery Management Today

25 March 2021. Looking ahead, the road to recovery will be a long and bumpy one. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel but to get there, pre-pandemic issues such as funding, recruitment and retention must be addressed:


Debate: Online Anonymity and Anonymous Abuse – Parallel Parliament

24 March 2021. Full text of a long debate in the Commons on Online Anonymity and Anonymous Abuse:


News: Fifth of students ‘poorly prepared for university’ – BBC Online

25 March 2021.  One in five UK students were not able to study the right subjects to prepare for a degree that interested them, says university admissions service, Ucas, who say that two in five students at university said they would have made better choices if they had had better information and advice at school:


News: ‘Children must be able to catch up on play too’, says children’s commissioner – MSN News

22 March 2021, Anna Davis.  Children should not be “panicked” about the amount of work they missed during the pandemic and must have time to meet friends and play sport, the new children’s commissioner said in her first speech in the role:


Official Statistics: Attendance in education and early years settings during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: 23 March 2020 to 18 March 2021 – Department for Education

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


Written Evidence: All 38 written submissions to the Select Committee Inquiry into ‘Children and young people’s mental health’ have been published – UK Parliament

Dec 2019 – May 2021.  All 38 written submissions to the Select Committee Inquiry into ‘Children and young people’s mental health’ have been published:


News: Abuse and neglect in early childhood in ‘urgent need of review’ – study – Nursery Management Today

23 March 2021, Nicole Weinstein. Protecting children at risk of abuse and neglect under the current system needs ‘urgent re-evaluation’, a study by the Nuffield Foundation finds:

Abuse and neglect in early childhood in ‘urgent need of review’ – study

Official Statistics: Children living with parents in emotional distress: March 2021 update – Public Health England

22 March 2021.  The proportion of children living with at least one parent reporting symptoms of emotional distress, by family type and work status:

Children living with parents in emotional distress: March 2021 update

Question: 169920 – Mental Health Services: Children and Young People – Parallel Parliament

16 March 2021.  Q&A in the Commons gives some detail of growing demand on CAMHS:


News: UK faces ‘Covid decade’ due to damage done by pandemic, says report – Guardian Online

23 March 2021, Patrick Butler.  British Academy review calls for wide-ranging new policies to reverse rise in deprivation and ill health:


News: Nine in 10 councils in England see rise in people using food banks – Guardian Online

21 March 2021, Michael Savage.  A rise in the use of food banks and an increase in family disputes requiring mediation has been seen across most of England, according to new research that uncovers the pressures on families during the Covid crisis:


News: Families facing special education needs ‘postcode lottery’ – BBC Online

19 March 2021.  Families seeking support for children with special educational needs face a “postcode lottery”, a report suggests:


Article: Scotland: Children’s rights enshrined in law in historic passing of Bill – Nursery World

18 March 2021, Nicole Weinstein.  Scotland has become the first nation in the UK to incorporate the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic law:


Survey: Impact of Covid-19 and CPD – Department for Education

March 2021.  The Department for Education is keen to collect information from teachers and early years professionals regarding the impact of COVID-19, including time out of settings and / or changes in home environments on children’s development and wellbeing:


Oral evidence: Inquiry into The impact of Covid-19 on education and children’s services – Education Committee

16 March 2021.  Oral evidence published to the Education Committee Inquiry into The impact of Covid-19 on education and children’s services:


Podcast: Kate Day – Mental health of children and young people – FST

18 March 2021, Kate Day, Managing Director, KRD Training, discusses mental health of children and the effect of the lockdown, drivers for increase in mental health difficulties, and the long term legacy of the pandemic:


Article: Charities join together to support healthy school holiday programme – Nursery World

18 March 2021, Nicole Weinstein.  A new coalition has been formed to ensure that England’s poorest children have access to healthy, active and enriching school holidays through the Government’s Holiday Activities and Food (HAF) programme:


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

16 Match 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:


News: Covid: Catch-up tuition not helping poorest pupils, says NAO – BBC Online

17 March 2021. The government’s programme to help pupils who have missed school time catch up may not be reaching the most disadvantaged children, a report says. The National Tutoring Programme was launched last year to give extra tuition to the UK’s poorest pupils: