Children Concerned about their Mental Health as Schools Return

  • A survey by ‘Time to Change’ found that 46% of 11-18-year-olds report being concerned about the impact of returning to school on their mental health 
  • A separate study by YMCA England and Wales found that 54% of 11-16-year-olds were also worried about falling behind at school following lockdown 
  • The same study found that 75% felt more stressed than before lockdown and 77% reported feelings of loneliness and isolation 
  • Click here to see our back to school guide on having supportive conversations

BMJ states that COVID-19 Risk to Children is ‘tiny’

  • The British Medical Journal has found that the risk to children from COVID-19 is ‘tiny’ and the need for critical care is ‘even tinier’ 
  • The study looked at 651 children with coronavirus in hospitals in England, Scotland and Wales.  But they warned that black children, young babies and obese children have a slightly higher risk 
  • 18% of those children needed intensive care, and the 6 who died had complex medical conditions. Of those hospitalised, around 1% died – a total of 6 – compared to 27% across all other age groups. 
  • Professor Calum Semple, of the University of Liverpool, said “there have been no deaths in otherwise healthy school-age children”
  • Dr Liz Whitaker from Imperial College London said the findings echoed other studies of COVID-19 in children

Children in the UK have the Lowest Happiness Levels in Europe 

  • A major report into childhood happiness has found that more than a third of UK 15-year-olds scored low on the annual ‘Good Childhood Report’ 
  • The rise of UK child poverty, school pressures and the fear of failure were cited among the top reasons as to why only 64% of children in the UK experience high life satisfaction 
  • Mark Russell, the Chief Executive of the Children’s Society, said: “As a society, we can’t be content with children in the UK being the most unsatisfied with their lives in Europe. It has to change.”
  • It was also noted that this data was collected before the pandemic and that things could now be remarkably worse for UK children

Schools not Aware they can Order Free Period Products 

  • Just under 40% of state schools and colleges have ordered free period products since the scheme launched in England in January 
  • Charities have warned that due to the pandemic, more pupils would struggle to afford access to tampons and pads 
  • According to ‘Plan International’, 3 in 10 girls in the UK have experienced issues affording or accessing period products during the pandemic 
  • The charity has produced guidance for schools as they begin to return, which includes information on how to deliver products and facilitate needs-based discussions with pupils 
  • The scheme is similar to those rolled out in Scotland and Wales last year

Cambridge Council Tackles False Claims that Children with COVID-19 Symptoms will be removed 

  • Cambridgeshire County Council have released a statement this week tackling a rumour that children would be ‘taken to a Government testing centre’ if they displayed COVID-19 symptoms at school 
  • A spokesperson for the council said: “This information is entirely untrue” 
  • The rumour claimed that when children were ‘taken away’, parents would have no access to them and would be ‘removed by police’ if they turned up at school 
  • The council said: “If a child in a Cambridgeshire or Peterborough school begins to display Covid symptoms, parents will be contacted and they will be asked to take the child home and to arrange a test”