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News round up-6 July 2012

Published: Friday, 20th July 2012

A round up of recent news, reports and research that will be of interest to Barnet's childrens workforce.

News

Government cracks down on out-of-borough placements under sexual exploitation reforms

The government is to make it harder for councils to place looked-after children in care homes outside of their local area, as part of wide-ranging reforms to protect young people from sexual exploitation and improve the children’s home system.

MPs call for national syllabuses for exam boards to prevent 'dumbing down'

National syllabuses should be introduced to stop the “dumbing down” of exams and restore public confidence in the system, the education select committee has concluded.

Gove accused of 'U-turn' over controversial O-level plan

The Education Secretary has been accused of performing a U-turn over plans to bring back O-levels and CSEs but his aides denied they were being watered down and insisted detailed plans were still under consideration.

Thousands more families take up free early education

The number of three- and four-year-olds taking up free nursery and early education places has increased by 40,000 over the past year.  

Government to launch childcare commission

Prime Minister David Cameron is to launch a commission on childcare to examine how to reduce the cost of childcare for families and cut bureaucracy, including looking at reducing adult to child ratios requirements in some areas.

 Interactive careers service gains support from big business

Serco, Starbucks and Formula One are among the companies to sign up to a government-funded initiative designed to give 11-to 24-year-olds an insight into career opportunities, through an interactive website

Reports

Report from the joint inquiry into children who go missing from care

This report reveals that children in residential care are three times more likely to run away and be exposed to physical and sexual abuse and exploitation as children who live at home.  

All of our concern: commercialisation, sexualisation and hypermasculinity

This report from the charity Family Lives argues that internet pornography and a trend for sending sexually explicit mobile phone messages could be causing a hidden tide of child-on-child rape and sexual assault.   

A good practice overview of fostering and adoption activity

This National Foundation for Educational Research report examines how councils across England are looking at ways in which they can provide high quality and timely foster care and adoption services that give the best outcomes for looked after children.   

It takes a village to raise a child

An Adoption UK survey on support for adoptive parents says that many adoptive families are not getting the support they need from the government or local authorities, and that current law regarding adoption pay and leave “sends out the message that adopters are `second-class parents’ and their children are `second-class children”.   

Going hungry? Young people’s experiences of free school meals

This report from the British Youth Council and the Child Poverty Action Group synthesises the thoughts of over one thousand young people about entitlement to FSM, along with their concerns about the adequacy and delivery of provision.  

Action research into the evolving role of the local authority in education - The final report for the Ministerial Advisory Group

This report presents the findings from a study which explored how local authorities are evolving and adapting their role to meet the needs of a more autonomous education system.  

Guidance

Emotional neglect and abuse in pre-school children

In coordination with Cardiff University , the NSPCC has published a guide for practitioners working with babies, young children and their families. The guide outlines examples of emotional neglect and abuse and signs to look for in children and the interaction between parents and children.  

10 questions to ask if you're scrutinising services for looked-after children

This guide from the Local Government Association and the National Children’s Bureau aims to provide clear and succinct advice on the key issues to cover in a scrutiny review of corporate parenting, as well as jargon-busting, links to further information and case studies.  

Consultation

Department of Health  - Next steps for nursery milk – a consultation

Consultation seeking views on different options for modernising the nursery milk scheme, looking at where it can be made more efficient as well as improving its value for money, while ensuring that no parent, child or childcare provider is disadvantaged and that all children under five in childcare settings continue to receive free milk.

Launch date: 18 June 2012

Closing date: 11 September 2012

 Ofqual - A-level reform consultation

Proposed changes to the qualification include: Ensuring involvement of higher education in the design and sign-off of A levels; Abolition of January exams and limiting resits; Whether or not AS levels should continue, with a range of options put forward.

Launch date: 19 June 2012

Closing date: 11 September 2012