30/04/21 – Useful Links

Interesting links, articles, news and blog posts sent out to members on 30/04/21.

News: Don’t ‘panic’ pupils over lost learning, teachers told – TES Online

30 April 2021, Dave Speck.  Children’s commissioner backs teachers to ‘turn things around’ for pupils but issues plea in conference speech:

Link: https://www.tes.com/news/covid-catch-up-schools-dont-panic-pupils-over-lost-learning-teachers-told

News: NSPCC child abuse helpline has record call numbers in pandemic – BBC Online

29 April 2021, Judith Burns.  Children’s charity the NSPCC says calls and messages to its helpline have risen to record levels during the pandemic:

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-56917654

News: Just one in ten parents believe nurseries are properly funded – Nursery Management Today

April 2021.  Just one in ten parents believe that current levels of early years funding are enough to enable nurseries, pre-schools and childminders in England to remain financially sustainable, a new survey conducted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Childcare and Early Education (APPG) has found:

Link: http://nmt-magazine.co.uk/just-one-in-ten-parents-believe-nurseries-are-properly-funded/

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

28 April 2021.  Increases in the number of emergency food parcels distributed by food banks have accelerated over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, particularly in those going to children. The Trussell Trust reported a 47 per cent increase in the number of three-day emergency food parcels it distributed in the 6 months from March to September 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. Independent food banks also saw a rise of 88% over the period February to October 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. There has also been a continued increase in the number of food banks. In February 2021 there were over 1,300 Trussell Trust food banks in the UK, in addition to over 900 independent food banks:

Link: Food Banks in the UK

News: Facebook: Smoking and alcohol ads ‘target Australian children’ – BBC Online

29 April 2021, Cristina Criddle.  Facebook approved adverts targeting teenage children interested in gambling, smoking and extreme weight loss, a report says:

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56920992

News: Support for young people’s self-esteem ‘needed more than ever’ – BBC Online

23 April 2021.  A project that works with young people to boost self-esteem says its services are “needed now more than ever”.  Revealed Projects provides workshops in schools and youth clubs on wellbeing and healthy relationships for nine to 18-year-olds across north Somerset:

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-56831705

Open consultation: School improvement monitoring and brokering grant: payment conditions – Department for Education

28 April 2021.  Views sought on proposals to attach conditions to the payment made to local authorities of the school improvement monitoring and brokering grant:

Link: School improvement monitoring and brokering grant: payment conditions

Article: Call to scrap the Reception Baseline intensifies – Nursery World

28 April 2021, Annette Rawstrone.  The introduction of Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) is ‘misguided’ and should not go ahead in September, according to a united call for action from hundreds of head teachers, academics, writers and parents:

Link: Call to scrap the Reception Baseline intensifies

News: SNP to renew every playground in Scotland if re-elected – Horticulture Week

April 2021, Dan Symons. The Scottish National Party (SNP) has pledged to invest £60m in renewing every play park in Scotland if re-elected at the upcoming Elections on 6 May:

Link: https://www.hortweek.com/snp-renew-every-playground-scotland-re-elected/landscape/article/1714013

Article: New project to test effectiveness of early childhood studies degrees – Nursery World

27 April 2021, Hannah Crown.  A new project to gauge the impact graduates have on practice in early years settings has been launched:

Link: https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/new-project-to-test-effectiveness-of-early-childhood-studies-degrees

News: Lockdowns hurt child speech and language skills – report – BBC Online

27 April 2021, Branwen Jeffreys.  There is growing evidence that the past year of lockdowns has had an impact on young children’s language skills, according to research:

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-56889035

Report: Safely Reducing the Number of Children Going into Care – Centre for Social Justice

April 2021. Covid-19 has magnified the call on children’s support services as well as the need for reform. It also offers an opportunity: services and stakeholders, policy-makers and the public have experienced seismic changes in health, the economy, education and welfare. Reformers can see, in the overturning of the status quo, a chance to alter the way we safeguard and protect children. We are at a critical juncture: with everything in flux, preconceived notions and traditional approaches are called into question. This report sets out the way ahead:

Link: https://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/library/safely-reducing-the-number-of-children-going-into-care

News: Call for more play time amid ‘schoolification’ of UK childhood – MSN News

23 April 2021, Sally Weale.  Education experts and child psychologists have raised the alarm about the creeping “scholarisation of childhood”, as evidence grows that free play both at school and at home is being eroded in favour of academic, sporting and cultural activities:

Link: https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/call-for-more-play-time-amid-schoolification-of-uk-childhood/ar-BB1fYspk

House of Commons Library – Constituency casework: Disputes about special educational needs in England – UK Parliament

21 April 2021.  Information on: challenging decisions about special educational needs in England; resolving disputes about what a school/ LA is or is not doing for a child with SEN:

Link: Disputes about special educational needs in England

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

23 April 2021, Catherine Gaunt.  Labour is launching a programme of early years events, as part of what it is calling ‘a big conversation’ to talk to childcare providers and families:

Link: https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/labour-launches-big-conversation-on-early-years

Article: Children missing out on adventurous outdoor play – study – Nursery World

21 April 2021, Nicole Weinstein. Primary school children in the UK are not engaging in outdoor adventurous play or playing outdoors freely in the same way as their parents’ generation, according to new research around children’s play:

Link: Children missing out on adventurous outdoor play – study

House of Commons Library – Research briefing: Childhood obesity – UK Parliament

22 April 2021.  The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology Research Briefing on Childhood Obesity:

Link: https://post.parliament.uk/research-briefings/post-pn-0640/

News: All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood’s 19th report – Nursery Management Today

22 April 2021. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood’s 19th report has been published as the vaccine roll-out fuels hopes for an end to the Covid-19 nightmare. But the report claims that unless the mental health crisis for children and young people exposed by the pandemic is addressed urgently by Government, it may become entrenched long after lockdowns are history:

Link: http://nmt-magazine.co.uk/all-party-parliamentary-group-on-a-fit-and-healthy-childhoods-19th-report/

Article: Government urged to tackle mental health crisis facing children and young people – Willis Palmer

April 2021. The mental health crisis for children and young people exposed by the pandemic risks becoming entrenched long after lockdowns are history unless it is addressed urgently by government, MPs have warned:

Link: https://www.willispalmer.com/government-urged-to-tackle-mental-health-crisis-facing-children-and-young-people/

Transparency data: Child safeguarding practice review panel: pool of reviewers – Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel and Department for Education

23 April 2021. A list of reviewers who can assist with national child safeguarding reviews:

Link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/child-safeguarding-practice-review-panel-pool-of-reviewers

Article: Young minds matter: early intervention is paramount for preserving mental health – Politics Home

21 April 2021, Steve McCabe MP. If we are to prevent a rise in children’s mental health problems we need to recognise the value of much earlier intervention and the folly of cuts in early years spending:

Link: https://www.politicshome.com/thehouse/article/rise-in-childrens-mental-health-problems

Article: ‘Frightening’ statistics on children’s mental health revealed in MPs’ cross-party report – Nursery World

20 April 2021, Nicole Weinstein.  One in every seven primary school-aged children had a diagnosable mental illness in 2020 and 75 per cent of mental illnesses begin before the age of eighteen, research from The All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood has revealed:

Link: https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/frightening-statistics-on-children-s-mental-health-revealed-in-mps-cross-party-report

Report: The Impact of Covid-19 on Household Food Security – Food Foundation

April 2021.  Insights from Food Foundation Surveys on how the Pandemic has Affected Food Access in the UK (March 2020 to January 2021):

Link: https://foodfoundation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/FF_Impact-of-Covid_FINAL.pdf

Official Statistics: National child measurement programme (NCMP): trends in child BMI – Public Health England

21 April 2021.  A report that provides a review of the changes in children’s body mass index (BMI) over specific time intervals:

Link: National child measurement programme (NCMP): trends in child BMI

Post: Playgrounds are Number 1 place to play – API

20 April 2021.  Free-to-access, public playgrounds are the most common places for children to play according to a new national survey from the University of Reading.  In the largest study of play in Britain, children on average spent more time playing in playgrounds than any other place:

Link: https://www.api-play.org/posts/playgrounds-are-number-1-place-to-play-children-spend-more-time-playing-in-playgrounds-than-any-other-place-new-study-finds/

News: UK children not allowed to play outside until two years older than parents’ generation – Guardian Online

20 April 2021, Sally Weale. Survey finds most children turn 11 before they can play outside unsupervised:

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/apr/20/gradual-lockdown-of-uk-children-as-age-for-solo-outdoor-play-rises

News: TikTok sued for billions over use of children’s data – BBC Online

21 April 2021.  TikTok is facing a legal challenge from former children’s commissioner for England Anne Longfield over how it collects and uses children’s data:

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56815480

Article: Europe-wide survey aims to measure children’s well-being as they grow up – Nursery World

19 April 2021, Annette Rawstrone.  Researchers are developing the first ever Europe-wide survey to track the well-being of children as they grow up, providing data to inform policies that directly affect their lives:

Link: https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/europe-wide-survey-aims-to-measure-children-s-well-being-as-they-grow-up

News: Big Ask: Children in England asked their hopes for post-Covid future – BBC Online

19 April 2021.  Millions of children across England are being asked to contribute to a survey about their hopes for the future. Children’s Commissioner for England Dame Rachel de Souza says the results will inform a review aimed at tackling “generational problems that have held back too many children for decades”:

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-56795922

News: The COVID generation: A mental health pandemic in the making – MQ Mental Health Research

19 April 2021, Bryony Doughty. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on a Fit and Healthy Childhood have published a Report, compiled by 41 academics, charity sector experts and children’s play specialists titled The COVID generation: A mental health pandemic in the making:

Link: https://www.mqmentalhealth.org/covid-generation/

News: Tackle poverty and inequality to reduce crime, says police chief – Guardian Online

18 April 2021, Vikram Dodd.  Retiring head of Merseyside force says if he had £5bn he would spend 20% on policing and 80% on cutting poverty:

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/apr/18/tackle-poverty-and-inequality-to-reduce-says-police-chief

News: Priti Patel: Facebook encryption plan ‘must not hamper child protection’ – BBC Online

19 April 2021, David Molloy. Facebook’s plans to roll out encryption across its messaging services could jeopardise ongoing work to combat child abuse, the Home Secretary has warned:

Link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56795852

Research briefing: Special Educational Needs: support in England – UK Parliament – House of Commons Library

16 April 2021. This House of Commons Library briefing sets out the system of support for children and young people in England aged 0-25 with special educational needs (SEN). The briefing provides an overview of the new system introduced in 2014, the transitional arrangements, and how the new system differs from that which preceded it. It also includes a brief history of the movement towards reform that preceded the 2014 changes, and information on the impact of the new system available to date:

Link: Special Educational Needs: support in England

Article: Reception Baseline: Overwhelming majority of parents reject testing children starting school – survey – Nursery World

16 April 2021, Catherine Gaunt. Just 6 per cent of parents think that children should be tested in English and Maths within their first few weeks of school, according to new research, which also revealed that most parents surveyed do not support assessment in Reception:

Link: https://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/article/reception-baseline-overwhelming-majority-of-parents-against-testing-children-starting-school-survey

Research briefing: Teacher recruitment and retention in England – UK Parliament – House of Commons Library

14 April 2021. This House of Commons Library Briefing Paper provides information on the recruitment and retention of teachers in England, including the Government’s recently published Teacher Recruitment and Retention Strategy. It also gives an overview of attempts to reduce teacher workload:

Link: Teacher recruitment and retention in England

Opinion: The Guardian view on mental health: this emergency requires a response – Guardian Online

12 April 2021.  As Britain unlocks, we ignore psychiatrists’ warnings about the psychological impact of Covid at our peril:

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/apr/12/the-guardian-view-on-mental-health-this-emergency-requires-a-response