A council has put a temporary hold on fining parents who take their children out of school for up to 10 days. The The Stoke Sentinel reports that Staffordshire County Council issued new guidance to schools and families on term-time holidays following a recent court ruling in the Isle of Wight case, where a father successfully challenged a fine for unauthorised absence on the basis of his child’s previously good attendance record. The temporary hold will be in place until the Supreme Court, which the Isle of Wight case has been referred to, rules on it.
Government consults on criminal offences for social workers who fail to act on abuse
A duty on social workers to report or take action on child abuse, with criminal sanctions for practitioners who fail to comply, could be introduced in England under proposals published for consultation by the government.
Two potential duties are being looked at by the Home Office; a mandatory reporting duty, or a ‘duty to act’, both of which would place the reporting of child abuse on a statutory footing.
The ‘duty to act’ would require certain practitioners or organisations to take appropriate action (which could include reporting) if they had reasonable cause to suspect that child abuse or neglect was taking place. There is currently no legal duty meaning social workers have to do this, only an acknowledgement in the Working Together guidance that they should.
The consultation document says “a range of sanctions” for professionals who fail to report child abuse or neglect could be made available, from “employer and/or regulatory sanctions to criminal sanctions”.
Source: Community Care
One in 12 adoptions in England are now made to same-sex couples, research has found. According to New Family Social, three quarters of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Britain going through the adoption process also actively consider adopting siblings.
The number of pupils in England with special educational needs (SEN) has fallen. According to data from the Department for Education, the number of pupils with SEN has fallen from 1,301,445 in 2015 to 1,228,785 in 2016 – a reduction of 5.58 per cent.
Mental health projects in England will receive £55 million from lottery funds to support young people.
Authorities in Blackpool, Kent and Newham in London have each been awarded £10 million to “spot the early signs”, the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) said.
Council-led schemes in Cornwall and Wolverhampton were each granted nearly £9 million while £7.8 million will go towards a five-year project in Hull.
Lyn Cole, BLF grant-making director, said funds would “tackle stigma”.
She said: “Mental health issues in early teens, if not tackled early, can develop into more serious conditions, impacting on school results and opportunities later on in life.”
The Children’s Commissioner for England has published a one-year business plan for implementing her 5 year strategy Ambitious for children. Themes include: growing up with positive childhoods; being ambitious for every child in care; seeing a major reduction in children being harmed and neglected; reduce inequalities for children and break the cycle of disadvantage.
Source: Children’s Commissioner for England Date: 11 July 2016
Further information: Ambitious for children 2016/17 (PDF)
Action urged over social workers’ loads
High drop-out rates among England’s social workers must be tackled urgently as they grapple with the pressure of increasing workloads, MPs say.
The Commons Education Committee says the government has not addressed the “endemic retention problems” in the profession.
Its report highlights how the vacancy rate has grown by a quarter since 2014, leaving 17% of jobs unfilled in 2015.
The government said it was investing to improve the quality of social work.
The average career in social work lasts less than eight years, compared to 16 for a nurse and 25 for a doctor.
Kids who sexually abuse others shouldn’t be treated as ‘mini sex offenders’ http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/children-who-sexually-abuse-youngsters-8394894#ICID=sharebar_twitter