|The Sex Education Forum is running a survey for teachers and those in support roles to find out what further support teachers need to deliver good quality sex and relationships education. This will feed in to their campaigning activities to guarantee sex and relationships education in all schools.
|Source: Sex Education Forum 16 May 2014|
|The Church of England has published guidance for its schools on challenging homophobic bullying.
|Source: BBC Online 12 May 2014|
Valuing all God’s children: guidance for Church of England schools on challenging homophobic bullying (PDF)
|Sky News reports that the number of children contacting ChildLine with concerns about their parents’ drinking and drug abuse has doubled in the past year. The helpline received 5,323 calls, up from 2,509 the previous year.
|Source: Sky news report|
School governors to be accountable for health support policies
School governors will be responsible for ensuring that children with long-term medical conditions are properly supported in the classroom, under a set of government measures.
From September, governing bodies will be required to ensure that children with medical conditions, such as diabetes and epilepsy, are able to fully access education, including school trips and sport.
They must also ensure that a school’s policies are sufficient to meet the needs of all pupils and that any support needed is actually put in place.
In addition, governing bodies will be required to monitor children’s individual healthcare plans, ensuring they are reviewed regularly and meet the child’s needs.
The measures are contained in statutory guidance, published this week, designed to improve the educational experiences of children with medical conditions.
The guidance supports a clause in the Children and Families Act 2014 that requires governing bodies to become more accountable for supporting children with long-term medical issues.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said the publication of the guidance will allay the concerns of parents who worry about their child’s wellbeing during school hours.
However, he is concerned about how the measures will be implemented.
He said: “We foresee three main logistical issues with the guidance, the foremost being the timescale of implementation in the context of the raft of other changes schools are obliged to implement.
“Staff will need to be trained to cope with particular conditions and head teachers will now need to ensure that the required individual pupil healthcare plans are in place.
“The second concern is that school leaders may be faced with a situation where none of their staff volunteer for extra medical responsibility when it comes to invasive administration of medicines.
“The guidance relies heavily on governors writing policies and on free access to the school nursing service – however, the feedback from our members suggests that there are regional variations in availability of support from the school nursing service.”
Beatrice Barleon, campaigns manager at Every Disabled Child Matters, welcomed the guidance but had similar concerns about the ability of the workforce to deliver it.
She said: “We believe the guidance will help to address the longstanding problem of children with health needs having their education interrupted because schools have not been willing to provide the support necessary.
“However, we have concerns over whether the government has sufficiently accounted for the number of school nurses required to deliver the outcomes the guidance hopes to achieve.”
|The Welsh Government has published an independent review of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence services in Wales. Recommendations include: protective responses to female genital mutilation (FGM) should be delivered or linked with health settings.
|Source: Welsh Government 30 April 2014|
Building effective responses: an independent review of violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence services in Wales (PDF)
|A freedom of information request to UK councils from the Press Association has found that hundreds of children are being referred to specialist drug and alcohol treatment services. Some of these children are as young as 4-years-old.
|Source: Telegraph 30 April 2014|
|Latest figures from the Ministry of Justice indicate that the rate of re-offending for young offendersleaving custody has fallen to its lowest level in a decade. Of those released from custody between July 2011 and June 2012, 67.4% re-offended within a year. A fall of 5.3% on the previous year.
|Source: Gov.UK 28 April 2014|
|A pilot has started in three Crown Courts in England which will enable young witnesses under the age of 16 to give evidence before a trial begins.
|Source: BBC Online 28 April 2014|
|The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 has been granted royal assent. The Act will: introduce portable assessments so that people who move from one place to another in Wales will be assured services in the new area; ensure people are assessed on what they need, rather than simply on what services are available locally; establish a National Adoption Service to improve outcomes of children in need of a permanent family.
|Source: Welsh Government 01 May 2014|
Introducing the main findings from: Changing lifestyles, keeping children safe: an evaluation of the first Family and Drug Alcohol Court (FDAC) in care proceedings (PDF)