Child development
“Neuromyths” distort teachers’ understanding of how the brain works

“Neuromyths” distort teachers’ understanding of how the brain works

According to new research, common myths about the brain and its functions are being widely misinterpreted by teachers. These misconceptions lead to ineffective learning methods and a misunderstanding of early educational requirements and adolescent brain development. Dr Paul Howard-Jones, author of Neuroscience and education: myths and messages, used research in an effort to understand the gap between neuroscientific fact and the widespread myths about the brain within an educational environment.

Read more
Welsh minister opens new Flying Start childcare centre in Caerphilly

Welsh minister opens new Flying Start childcare centre in Caerphilly

Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty opened a new Flying Start centre in Risca, Caerphilly, yesterday as part of the Welsh Assembly Government Child Poverty strategy. Caerphilly local authority has been awarded over £3.5 million of funding from the Welsh government to be spent on fulfilling the Flying Start programme between 2012-15. The latest Flying Start project, based at Risca Community Comprehensive School, offers local children

Read more
Aggression between parents harms children’s ability to regulate and recognise emotions

Aggression between parents harms children’s ability to regulate and recognise emotions

According to a longitudinal study led by New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development, children’s exposure to verbal and physical aggression between parents “may hurt a child’s ability to identify and control emotions”. Considering the ways that protracted exposure to verbal and physical aggression between parents may have on their children, the study followed 1,025 children from six to 58 months of age. The study included

Read more
Children’s mental health services require “complete overhaul” say council leaders

Children’s mental health services require “complete overhaul” say council leaders

The LGA (Local Government Association) has raised concern over children’s mental health services in England and Wales, stating that “stretched budgets” and “fragmented” systems are causing children and young people in need of help to fall through the net. Representing 370 councils across England and Wales, the LGA is urging government to “provide adequate funding and resources to ensure early diagnosis for children”. According to mental health charity, YoungMinds, one

Read more
Autistic children learn better communication skills when therapy is tailored, says UCLA study

Autistic children learn better communication skills when therapy is tailored, says UCLA study

A3-year study into the different approaches surrounding minimally verbal children with autism found great improvement when therapy was tailored to their individual needs using a computer tablet and personalised interventions. The study, which was led by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), examined 61 children with ASD (autism spectrum disorder) between the ages of five to eight-years old for a period of six months. UCLA Professor Connie Kasari worked

Read more
NHS England to take “immediate action” on beds for children in mental health

NHS England to take “immediate action” on beds for children in mental health

Following an official review of children’s mental health services and an investigation from BBC News, NHS England have opened up 50 new children’s mental health beds to improve access and availability. A BBC News and Community Care investigation into 58 of England’s NHS mental health trusts found that 350 under-18s were admitted to adult wards in 2013-14. In response, NHS England said that treating under-18s on adult wards was “totally

Read more
Welsh joint strategy with Youth Justice Board to reduce youth offenders

Welsh joint strategy with Youth Justice Board to reduce youth offenders

The Welsh government, in conjunction with the Youth Justice Board, has launched a strategy to prevent young people offending and reoffending. Children and Young People First proposes to build on the already “strong foundation” created through targetted prevention programmes and restorative methods used in previous frameworks. Although first-time entrants (FTEs) to the youth justice system have fallen1 the strategy aims to reduce the number of youths reoffending by “ensuring children

Read more
Child internet addiction like ”habitual cocaine” use

Child internet addiction like ”habitual cocaine” use

The amount of hours children spend in front of a screen correlate with addictive behaviours, depression and unhealthy lifestyles says research. Quoting research from psychologist Dr Aric Sigman’s paper in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood, former Tory children’s minister Tim Loughton said that child internet addiction could cause “brain changes like those seen in alcoholics and habitual cocaine users.” The American Academy of Pediatrics reported on “Facebook depression”,

Read more
Children’s authors back independent taskforce on children’s mental health services

Children’s authors back independent taskforce on children’s mental health services

A number of esteemed children’s authors have signed a letter addressing the current state of protection and mental health provisions available to children in the UK, saying that “society needs to stop failing vulnerable children”. Writing in support of Kids Company’s launch of their See the Child. Change the System campaign, a group of children’s writers, including Philip Pullman, Lauren Child, Meg Rossof and Pippa Goodhart have expressed their concern

Read more
Reform of childcare and early years provision would provide “economic stability”, claims thinktank

Reform of childcare and early years provision would provide “economic stability”, claims thinktank

The IPPR (Institute for Public Policy Research) has published a report claiming that reform to the current childcare framework could reduce expenditure whilst allowing more parents to return to work. No more baby steps: A strategy for revolutionising child care seeks to “analyse the case for, and core components of, a more strategic approach to early years provision in the UK”. Due to the rising numbers of women entering employment and

Read more
New money for councils to support families with SEND

New money for councils to support families with SEND

The DoE (Department of Education) in conjunction with the CDC (Council for Disabled Children) has announced a reform in funding for SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) support. £45 million of new funding is to be allocated to councils preparing for “the biggest transformation of special educational needs and disabilities support in over 30 years.” Along with the announcement, the DoE has also launched an updated code-of-practice which offers practical

Read more
Residential holiday schemes for disabled children – legal guidelines

Residential holiday schemes for disabled children – legal guidelines

Ofsted has updated its guide for holiday scheme providers in England outlining how providers and managers must conform to the minimum standards for accommodating disabled children. It replaces the interim guidance published in February. Under new regulations, which came into effect last July, all managers and providers of residential holiday schemes for disabled children must register with Ofsted and meet a range of minimum legal standards before accepting disabled children.

Read more
ADHD a “description” not a disease says leading US neuroscientist

ADHD a “description” not a disease says leading US neuroscientist

Neuroscientist Dr. Bruce D Perry has suggested that ADHD is a “description rather than a disease” and believes that psychostimulants are prescribed unnecessarily. On the eve of a visit to the UK to meet with Iain Duncan Smith and the health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, reveals that the expert believes that many people would fit a description of some of the symptoms of hyperactivity. Dr. Perry, a fellow at the Child

Read more
Ofcom on parental controls: Tablets “device of choice” for kids

Ofcom on parental controls: Tablets “device of choice” for kids

Following a request from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and government requests to UK ISPs with regards to the implementation of network-level filters, Ofcom has produced the first of three reports on internet security measures to aid parental protection for children using the internet. The DCMS has requested the reports on parental controls be focused on the take up, knowledge and confidence of parents using them. According

Read more
Childhood maltreatment may lead to adult obesity, claim UK experts

Childhood maltreatment may lead to adult obesity, claim UK experts

All children deserve to be well-treated and many parents are hyper-aware of how treatment of their children can affect them in later life, but what of weight problems? Whilst the rise of obesity in adults is well-documented, and over a third of the population are affected, perhaps not so much at the forefront of people’s minds is the relationship between a child’s treatment in childhood and its relationship with food

Read more
Childhood abuse and sympathetic nervous system dysregulation

Childhood abuse and sympathetic nervous system dysregulation

Is there an association between childhood abuse and sympathetic nervous system dysregulation in adult women? When it comes to childhood abuse many people, both male and female, suffer with various social problems and depression throughout their adult lives. However, a new study in the USA has formed an association between childhood abuse and nervous system dysregulation in adult women. In January this year, University of Toronto researchers produced a report

Read more
Government considers extending children’s home leaving age to 21

Government considers extending children’s home leaving age to 21

The government is to explore the possibility of allowing young people to stay in residential care up to the age of 21, children’s minister Edward Timpson has announced. Edward Timpson said potential barriers to extending staying-put arrangements to children’s homes should not be seen as “insurmountable barriers” Department for Education officials have been asked to work alongside the National Children’s Bureau, the Who Cares Trust, and Catch 22 to “look

Read more
Minister launches mobile learning solution for child development 0-6 Years

Minister launches mobile learning solution for child development 0-6 Years

Health Minister Edwin Poots will launch a new child development app – the first of its kind in Northern Ireland. The Minister will be joined by professionals from social work, early years, education and mobile learning development to showcase the Child Development 0-6 Years Mobile App. The Minister said: “This is an exciting development as it delivers learning to thousands at the press of a button. I’m fully committed to

Read more
250,000 fewer pupils in underperforming secondary schools

250,000 fewer pupils in underperforming secondary schools

Number of pupils taught in underperforming secondary schools falls by almost 250,000 in 4 years. Performance tables published today show that the government’s education reforms are raising standards in secondary schools – with hundreds more schools meeting tougher targets. This year, schools are below the floor if fewer than 40% of their pupils achieve 5 or more GCSEs, including English and maths, at C or better, and are behind on progress measures.

Read more
Child safety: Who’s really taking care of the children?

Child safety: Who’s really taking care of the children?

Nearly half of paedophiles convicted of abusing children under the age of 13 in 2012 were not jailed. What message does this send to vulnerable children, we must ask. Who is really looking after the welfare of our children? The figures were released following a parliamentary question from shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan, who said the news was an insult to victims. There have been many cases highlighted in the

Read more