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
Child arrests in England and Wales
The Howard League for Penal Reform has published the findings from freedom of information data from 43 police service areas in England and Wales and the British Transport Police. Findings show that: there were 87,525 child arrests in England and Wales in 2016, down from 245,763 in 2010; the number of children in prison fell by 58% between 2010 and 2016.
Source: Howard League for Penal Reform Date: 07 August 2017
Further information: Child arrests in England and Wales 2016: research briefing (PDF).
Sexual misconduct in schools
The Guardian reports that figures from a freedom of information request by the Press Association found that 754 children in 15 local authorities in England had been expelled or temporarily excluded from primary or secondary school as a result of sexual misconduct in the past four years.
Source: Guardian Date: 09 August 2017.
Schools need a coherent strategy for lockdown procedures in case of a dangerous event taking place on their premises, a teaching union said.
The BBCreports that the NASUWT said schools currently had ad hoc drills to deal with various threats and called on the government to put together a comprehensive plan. More than 200 head teachers in West Yorkshire have attended council-run seminars providing advice on lockdowns.
Preventing bullying in schools
The Department for Education (DfE) has published a new version of ‘Preventing and tackling bullying’ outlining: the government’s approach to bullying; legal obligations and the powers schools have to tackle bullying; and the principles which underpin the most effective anti-bullying strategies in schools in England. The advice also lists further resources through which school staff can access specialist information on the specific issues that they face.
Source: DfE Date: 04 July 2017
Further information: Preventing and tackling bullying: advice for headteachers, staff and governing bodies (PDF)
Female genital mutilation statistics
NHS Digital has published the female genital mutilation (FGM) annual report for England for the period April 2016 to March 2017. Key findings include: there were 9,179 attendances reported at NHS trusts and GP practices where FGM was identified or a procedure for FGM was undertaken; 5,391 cases were newly recorded; the 5 to 9 year old age group was the most common age range at which FGM was undertaken; in 57 cases, the FGM was known to have been undertaken in the UK.
Source: NHS Digital Date: 04 July 2017
Further information: Female genital mutilation (FGM) enhanced dataset – April 2016 to March 2017, England, experimental statistics
Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill
The first reading of Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill in the House of Lords took place on 3 July 2017.
Source: UK Parliament Date: 03 July 2017
Further information: Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill (PDF)
Experiences of LGBT pupils in schools
Stonewall has published research into the experiences of lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) pupils in Britain’s schools. Findings from an online survey of 3,713 LGBT young people aged 11-19 include: 45% are bullied for being LGBT – this is down from 55% in 2012 and 65% in 2007; 45% of LGBT pupils who are bullied for being LGBT never tell anyone about the bullying; 9% of trans pupils are subjected to death threats at school; more than four in five trans young people have self-harmed, as have three in five lesbian, gay and bi young people who aren’t trans.
Source: Stonewall Date: 27 June 2017
Further information: Further information: School report: the experiences of lesbian, gay, bi and trans young people in Britain’s schools in 2017 (PDF)
Secondary school mental health training
The government has announced that, from June 2017, teachers in secondary schools in England will take part in a training programme to help them identify and respond to early signs of mental health issues in children. Teachers will receive practical advice on how to deal with issues such as depression and anxiety, suicide and psychosis, self-harm, and eating disorders.
Source: Gov.uk Date: 27 June 2017
The Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill
The Scottish Government has published the the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill and accompanying documents. The Bill will introduce a duty on public and other services to consider if the sharing of information will promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of a child or young person. It will also ensure that the sharing is compatible with current law.
Source: Scottish Government Date: 20 June 2017