Lack of duty on schools ‘could compromise safeguarding shake-up’
Government plans to overhaul local child safeguarding arrangements risk being compromised by a failure to involve schools, council leaders have warned.
Both the Local Government Association (LGA) and Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) have issued the warning in response to government proposals to abolish local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) and replace them with a new system of multi-agency arrangements.
These would involve councils, police and health organisations as core partners but not schools, according to proposed changes to Working Together guidance designed to pave the way for the new arrangements.
sexual harassment in schools
The Guardian Newspaper asked teachers, parents and students to share their accounts and experiences of sexual harassment taking place among young people in schools
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Working together to safeguard children
Community Care has published an article on the government consultation on changes to the Working together to safeguard children guidance, focussing on changes of relevance to social workers. Proposed changes include: the inclusion of the principal social worker role in statutory guidance; and recognition of the importance of the national accreditation and assessment scheme.
Source: Community Care Date: 13 November 2017
Run, Hide, Tell resources for schools
Counter Terrorism Policing in collaboration with the PSHE Association and Girlguiding have produced a Run, Hide, Tell resource pack for teachers to use to inform 11-16 year olds on how best to react to a gun or knife terror attack. The resource includes training films, lesson plans for key stage 3 and key stage 4 as well as teacher guidance on how to deliver this material confidently and safely.
Source: National Counter Terrorism Security Office Date: 14 November 2017
Further information: Run, Hide, Tell
Reported child-on-child sex offences ‘tip of the iceberg’
Reports of sexual assaults by children on other children are rising, according to police figures seen by BBC Panorama. But those reported cases are only the “tip of the iceberg”, according to one police child abuse expert
The number of reported sexual offences by under-18s on other under-18s in England and Wales rose by 71% from 4,603 from 2013-14 to 7,866 from 2016-17, according to figures from a Freedom of Information request.
A total of 38 out of the 43 forces in England and Wales responded.
The number of reported rapes among under-18s rose 46% from 1,521 to 2,223 over the same period, according to 32 police forces that supplied a breakdown of figures.
Reports of sexual offences on schools premises also increased from 386 in 2013-14 to 922 in 2016-17, according to 31 police forces – including 225 rapes on school grounds over the four years.
Source: BBC News
Looked-after children statistics, published today by the Department for Education
The number of children in local authority care under section 20 arrangements has fallen to its lowest point in seven years, government statistics show.
Looked-after children statistics, published today by the Department for Education, showed 16,470 children lived in the voluntary care arrangements at 31 March 2017, compared to 19,350 at the same point in 2015. This is the lowest number of children cared for under the arrangement since this dataset was first published in 2010.
Section 20 practice came under increased scrutiny in 2015 when the president of the family courts, Sir James Munby, issued guidance to try to stamp out “misuse and abuse”’ of the arrangement, which does not require a legal order and is done with the consent of the parents.
Since that time, the number of children in section 20 arrangements has fallen to pre-2013 levels, despite the number of looked-after children overall reaching its highest level in more than 30 years.
The Office for National Statistics has published a statistical bulletin analysing suicide data and trends. The statistics show that: in 2016, young men aged 15 to 19 in Great Britain are two-and-a-half times more likely to die from suicide than females of the same age.
Source: Suicides in Great Britain: 2016 registrations Date: 07 September 2017
Further information: Suicide in the United Kingdom: dataset
MSPs will quiz football association bosses on progress to improve child protection in the sport when they return to the Scottish parliament today. The Scotsman reports that representatives from the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Youth Football Association will appear before the health and sport committee. The committee has been looking into child protection in sport in the wake of allegations of historical child sexual abuse in football.
More than eight in 10 young people think social media companies should do more to tackle cyberbullying on their platforms, a poll conducted by charities YoungMindsand The Children’s Society has found. The survey of more than 1,000 young people aged between 11 and 25 also revealed that 46 per cent said they had experienced threatening, intimidating or nasty messages via social media, email or text and 14 per cent had experienced online bullying in the last month.
The Children’s Commissioner for England has launched a campaign aimed at parents and carers to help them to encourage their children to enjoy the online world without being totally consumed by it. The campaign, Digital 5 A Day, is based on the NHS’s evidence-based five steps to mental well-being, and gives children and parents practical steps to achieve a balanced digital diet. The five elements of a good digital diet are: connect, be active, get creative, give to others, be mindful.
Source: Children’s Commissioner for England Date: 06 August 2017
Further information: Digital 5 A Day