Children England News

Vision for new secure schools
The Ministry of Justice has published its vision for the two new secure schools it announced in December 2016, comprising 70 – 80 places in total. Ultimately anticipated to replace prisons and young offenders institutions for children and young people in the justice system, the new type of institution will offer “bespoke provision for individual children that has education, healthcare and physical activity at its heart – a therapeutic environment in a secure setting.” It’s not yet clear whether these places will replace or create additional capacity in the secure estate.

Social Work England
Colum Conway, currently Chief Executive of Northern Ireland’s social work regulator, has been appointed to become the Chief Executive of the new regulatory body Social Work England. The government has published its response to the consultation on the new body, and summarised the changes it will make as a consequence, including:

  • The investigation, case examination and adjudication roles in the fitness to practise system must be separate
  • Interim orders can now only be made by adjudicators, rather than case examiners
  • Social Work England will not have power to suspend approval of education courses or training as a remedial measure
  • Under default powers, the Secretary of State will have the power to appoint an independent person to take over the regulator’s functions or give effect to a remedial direction

Mental health assessment pilots for children in care
The government has confirmed that, after some delay, the pilots for mental health assessments of children coming into care will start later this year. The areas running pilots, and the organisations contracted to manage and evaluate them, are yet to be announced.

Young women aged 16 – 19 most likely to experience abuse by partner
The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that of all the age groups, young women aged 16 – 19 were most likely to have experienced partner abuse in the year ending March 2017 (7.6% compared with 6.2% for women aged 16 – 59). Other groups of women with higher than average rates of abuse from a partner included:

  • Women who had a long-term illness or disability (12.4% compared with 5.1% who did not)
  • Women who identified with Mixed/Multiple ethnicities were more likely to have experienced partner abuse (10.1%) than any other ethnic group

Women living in households with an income of less than £10,000 were more than four times as likely (14.3%) to have experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months than women living in households with an income of £50,000 or more (3.3%)