In 2019 schools will be required to teach Relationship Education in Primary Schools and Relationships and Sex Education in Secondary Schools. At the same time, schools are increasingly being expected to support children’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. We need to use these curriculum changes to consider what is needed in PHSE teaching, how it fits into the curriculum and its role in preventing Child Sexual Abuse. Continue reading
The case of Jon Platt, the father, who lost his case about term time holidays raises a number of interesting questions.
With regard to term-time holidays, I have considerable sympathy for families where parents work in tourism related industries who find it particularly difficult to take time off during school holidays, as this is when they are busiest. Further, I appreciate that there are those who need to take term-time holidays for particular family reasons. Equally, it could be argued that a child would learn a lot from a trip to the Pyramids or to see the art of Ancient Rome. The value of family time and commitments should not be underestimated. But all this remains at the discretion of Head Teachers, though Head Teachers’ discretion is inhibited increasingly by the pressures of OFSTED and league tables that record attendance. Continue reading
It is that time of year again! Safer Internet Day is coming up on February 7th, so it seemed a good time to review some of the resources available for online safety. The theme for this year is
‘Be the change: unite for a better internet’.
I feel that this is very reflective of wider concerns, particularly in a world where the new US president demonstrates publicly that he thinks trolling online and tweeting without thinking is just fine! This role modelling or lack of it and similar behaviour it makes allowable, mean it even more important that we are supporting children to develop the skills to keep themselves and others safe online. Continue reading
On January 4th, Anne Longfield, The Children’s Commissioner issued a report ‘Growing up Digital‘ looking at the impact of the internet and its use on children. She reminds us,
‘The internet is an extraordinary force for good but it is not designed with children in mind. Yet, one third of internet users are under the age of 18’ (page 3)
The amount of time children are spending online is growing rapidly with 3-4 year olds spending over 8 hours a week online, while 12-15 year olds are spending over 20 hours a week. Continue reading
On July 21st, the government launched its consultation to seek views on the possible introduction of mandatory reporting of child abuse and neglect or of a duty to act in relation to it. This consultation closes at noon on 13th October. This weekend saw the airing of Louis Theroux’s second documentary about Jimmy Saville, where he publicly berates himself for his ‘failure to recognise him for what he was’. I feel that when we consider the issues of mandatory reporting, we need to consider the experiences of Theroux and others like him. Continue reading