Sex and relationships education: Wales
Welsh education secretary Kirsty Williams has announced changes to Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in Wales. Children aged from five to 16 will be taught Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) as a statutory part of Wales’ new curriculum which will be in place from 2022, and will place an emphasis on forming and maintaining healthy, happy and fulfilling relationships. New guidance, due to be published, will include advice on how to teach a range of topics including: education for LGBTQI pupils (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex); and issues of sexual consent and prevention of violence against women.
Source: Welsh Government Date: 22 May 2018 / CASPAR
Further information: BBC
Nearly a third of children being referred to specialist mental health services by their schools are being denied treatment, an investigation has found.
A Freedom of Information request to NHS Trusts in England by the NSPCC found schools seeking professional help for pupils from NHS child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) made 123,713 referrals since 2014/15.
Overall the number of referrals has increased each year since 2014/15, reaching 34,757 in 2017/18 – the equivalent of 183 every school day.
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Female genital mutilation clinical handbook
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has published a clinical handbook on the care of girls and women living with female genital mutilation (FGM). The Handbook offers advice on how to: communicate effectively and sensitively with girls who have developed health issues due to FGM; work with patients and families to prevent the practice of FGM; and identify when and where to refer patients who need additional support and care.
Source: WHO Date: 01 May 2018
Further information: Care of girls & women living with female genital mutilation: a clinical handbook (PDF)
Mental health in schools and colleges
The Department for Education (DfE) has published a report looking at how schools and colleges incorporate teaching about mental health into the academic curriculum. Findings from case study research in 36 schools, colleges and other educational institutions across England provide examples of the range of activities used to deliver support for mental health provided in schools and colleges.
Source: DfE Date: 08 May 2018 / CASPAR
Further information: Supporting mental health in schools and colleges: pen portraits of provision (PDF)
Number of adoptions
The Department for Education (DfE) has published quarterly statistics on the performance of the adoption system in England. The number of children waiting to be adopted has increased by 7% from 2,320 in 31 December 2016, to 2,470 children at 31 March 2017. 27% of those children waiting at 31 March 2017 had been waiting 18 months or more.
Source: DfE Date: 08 May 2018 / CASPAR
Further information: Adoption leadership board headline measures and business intelligence: quarter 4 2016 to 2017 update (PDF)
Accessible language for social workers
Community Care highlights the need for social workers and health and social care professionals to be mindful of the language they use when speaking with families and children. Key suggestions include: referring to family members by their names; avoiding using LAC when referring to a looked after child, or FC when talking about a foster carer; referring to where a child lives as their home, rather than a placement or unit; and considering the language used when compiling reports or during meetings, as parents often do not have experience of specialist terms and acronyms.
Source: Community Care Date: 10 May 2018
The number of children being home-schooled has risen by about 40 per cent over three years, it has emerged. Figures obtained by the BBC show that across the UK 48,000 children were being home-educated in 2016/17, up from about 34,000 in 2014/15. Mental health issues and avoiding exclusion are two reasons parents gave for removing children from classrooms.
IICSA publishes Rochdale report
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) has published its report into the institutions where children were placed by Rochdale Council, looking at the institutional responses of the council, the police and the Crown Prosecution Service into child sexual abuse in Rochdale between the early 1960s and the mid 1990s.
Source: IICSA CASPAR
Further information: Cambridge House, Knowle View and Rochdale: investigation report (PDF)
Cafcass has published its monthly care application statistics for England. In March 2018, Cafcass received a total of 1,238 care applications. This figure represents a 3.5% increase in comparison with February 2018 and is the second highest monthly total for a March on record. Between April 2017 and March 2018 Cafcass received a total of 14,207 applications. This figure is 2.7% lower when compared with the previous financial year.
Source: Cafcass Date: 13 April 2018
Technology and unhealthy teenage relationships
The NSPCC’s Impact and evidence insights series features the first of two blogs by Emily Robson NSPCC, looking at how technology, gender and same sex relationships are associated with domestic abuse. This first blog focusses on sexting and the abusive use of technology and discusses what we can do to help keep children and young people safe from this form of abuse.
Source: NSPCC impact and evidence insights blog Date: 16 April 2018