‘Children’s Publications – Source: Children England Bulletin (March 2018)

Children’s wellbeing statistics 2018
The Office for National Statistics has published its latest statistics showing how children aged 10 – 15 feel about a range of areas of their life, including relationships and social media. The main points include:

  • The percentage of children in the UK who reported talking to their father more than once a week about things that matter to them increased significantly between 2009 to 2010 and 2015 to 2016, increasing from 38.0% to 45.2%.
  • Between 2009 to 2010 and 2015 to 2016, the percentage of children aged 10 to 15 years who argued with their mother more than once a week fell significantly, from 30.5% to 25.8%.
  • Between 2015 and 2017, the percentage of children aged 10 to 15 years who reported high or very high happiness with their friends fell significantly, from 85.8% to 80.5%.

 

Keeping children and young people out of court
The Inspectorates for probation and for constabulary and fire and justice have reviewed the operation of Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) in working with children and young people who have committed low-level offences to keep them out of the criminal justice system. It says: “We found YOTs often doing good and effective work to make it less likely that children would offend again, and to enable them to change their lives for the better. However, with some specifc changes, the work could be better still and more children could beneft, as well as local communities and society as a whole.” The report’s recommendations for YOTs are:

  • Make sure that the requirements of youth conditional cautions are meaningful to children, and describe the desired outcomes and how these will be achieved
  • Make sure that all victims have a fully informed and effective opportunity to have their views heard, and to receive an appropriate restorative intervention
  • Make sure that children understand the implications of receiving an out-of-court disposal before they are asked to accept it

 

Government responds to Youth Select Committee on Body Image
The government has published its response to the findings of the Youth Select Committee’s inquiry into body image. Whilst it agrees with the sentiment of the Inquiry’s findings and says “The Government will continue to seek opportunities to support civil society to promote and raise awareness of body image issues”, it stops short of committing to any new actions as a result, restricting itself to confirming existing initiatives and ongoing work including:

  • Considering how new PSHE curriculum content and guidance could address body image
  • Involving children and young people in testing the new approaches to mental health support set out in the green paper Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision
  • Suggesting that “if industry-led, voluntary action is unsuccessful in relation to the measures set out in the Internet Safety Strategy, legislation may be necessary” (regarding minimum standards and removal of social media content)

Growing Up North 
The Children’s Commissioner has published her year-long research into the experiences of children growing up in the north of England and the impact of the developments associated with the Northern Powerhouse project. It finds that children love where they live, but are not properly benefitting from investment in the North, which should focus more on children. The findings include:

  • Northern 2 to 3 year olds are more likely than their London counterparts to attend nursery – but are less likely to reach the expected standard of development when starting school
  • More than half of the schools serving the North’s most deprived communities are below a ‘good’ rating. This means children in these communities face the double-disadvantage of being from a poor community and attending a poor school. Schools in these ‘cold spots’ are facing the same problems: weak leadership, poor governance and difficulties recruiting staff
  • Many more children in the North than nationally are starting school with high-levels of development issues, but fewer children are having special educational needs diagnosed before they start school
  • High numbers of children across the North are dropping out of school too early, missing vital parts of their education and undermining their future prospects