120,540 children in temporary accommodation
The Local Government Association says 120,540 children are now living with their families in temporary accommodation provided by their council. This is an increase of 37% over the last three years, and the LGA says the situation for councils is unsustainable. To support councils to build ‘genuinely affordable homes’ the government should
- Let councils borrow to build
- Allow councils to keep 100% of the profit on the sale of homes to reinvest in housing
- Change welfare provision so that housing is affordable to families on low incomes
Rise in cost of holiday childcare
Annual research by the Family and Childcare Trust shows that the cost of childcare in the holidays has risen by 4% since 2016, and is now an average of £124 a week. The cost varies from region to region, and in the North East is 10% higher than the North West of England. The report also shows that local authorities are struggling even more than last year to provide enough places, with 29% saying they have sufficient places compared to 33% last year.
Half of excluded children have mental health problems
Research by the think tank IPPR shows that mental health issues are far higher amongst children who have been excluded from school than amongst school pupils in general:
- At least one in two pupils permanently excluded from schools have a mental health issue
- Government data shows only one in a hundred children who have been permanently excluded from mainstream schools go on to receive five good GCSE grades
- IPPR plans to publish “a new pathway into teaching which includes a Masters degree in mental health and education, to address the crisis” in September
Latest food bank use statistics
The Trussell Trust has published statistics for April 2016 – March 2017 showing that its foodbank network distributed 1,182,954 three day emergency food supplies to people in crisis compared to 1,109,309 in 2015-16. Of this number, 436,938 went to children. The most common reasons for referral to a food bank were:
- Low income
- Benefit delays
- Benefit changes
Free resources for Road Safety Week and campaign for drivers to Speed Down Save Lives
Families and community groups can now register for Road Safety Week 2017 (20-26 November), the UK’s biggest road safety event. Road safety charity Brake, which coordinates the event, is encouraging parents and community leaders to register for a free action pack to help them raise awareness and campaign for safer local roads. Parents and community road safety champions can access free electronic resources and guidance to help them get involved. A free online action pack is available from September. This includes downloadable, interactive resources for both children and adults, advice on how to campaign for slower speed limits, and case studies of what others have done in previous years.
For this year’s Road Safety Week, we have chosen to focus on the important message of Speed Down Save Lives.