Tuesday 29th of June 2021

Anti-vax group targets schoolchildren with misleading leaflets 

  • A largely offline anti-vaccination campaign encouraging both schoolchildren and their parents to refuse the Covid-19 vaccine has been operating at UK school gates. 
  • Misinformation detection organisation Logically found that Future Z has created online campaign materials in the style of BBC Bitesize revision guides designed to encourage vaccine hesitancy among children and teenagers. 
  • The campaign likens accepting an mRNA vaccine – injections that protect against infectious diseases including Covid-19 – to installing “a trial app that could screw up your £800 iPhone” in a bid to convince younger people it is safer to wait than to receive a vaccination against the virus.
  • For the full story, select here.

Mobile phone ban plan to improve school behaviour 

  • Mobile phone bans and other ways to create “calm classrooms” are to be considered to help improve discipline in England’s schools. 
  • Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said he wants to make the school day mobile-free, describing the devices as “distracting” and “damaging”. 
  • A consultation will ask the views of teachers and parents on how to promote good behaviour. 
  • Heads accused Mr Williamson of being “obsessed” with phones in school. 
  • The six-week call for evidence is part of a government review of behaviour, discipline, suspensions, and permanent exclusions in England’s schools.
  • For the full story, select here. 

    Wales’ adopted children face ‘mental health emergency’ 

    • Adopted children and young people in Wales are facing a “mental health emergency,” a charity has warned. 
    • Adoption UK said two-thirds of adoptive families surveyed in Wales “face a continual struggle for support”. 
    • Mimi Woods, 20, from Carmarthenshire, tried to take her own life as a teenager after being adopted aged three. She is calling for more support for people who have been adopted. 
    • The Welsh government acknowledged “there is more to do”. 
    • In a new report, the charity said the “mental health emergency” among adopted children and young people had been caused by “failings in a system that is not set up to meet their needs”.
    • For the full story, select here

      Gangs warning for pupils missing majority of school 

      • There has been a big increase in children in England missing large amounts of school – on top of disruption from Covid, warns a report. 
      • More than 90,000 pupils missed over half their lessons in the autumn term, said the Centre for Social Justice. 
      • They could be “extremely vulnerable to being picked up by gangs”, think tank founder Sir Iain Duncan Smith said. 
      • The report warned these children would struggle to ever catch up when they were so “severely absent”. 
      • “Gangs have used lockdowns for recruitment drives,” says the report, with a strong link between those who end up in youth custody and those who have been persistently absent from school.
      • For the full story, select here

        Ministers set to end automatic isolation for pupils exposed to covid in England 

        • Hundreds of thousands of pupils will no longer have to automatically isolate after contact with a positive Covid case when schools return in September in England, ministers are expected to announce. 
        • A quarter of a million children missed school in a single week because of coronavirus infections, self-isolation, or school closures this month – the most disrupted week since schools fully reopened across the country in March. 
        • It came as the new health secretary, Sajid Javid, said most Covid restrictions in England “must come to an end” on 19 July.
        • For the full story, select here