Reddit boss rejects crackdown on coronavirus misinformation

  • Reddit’s chief executive, Steve Huffman, has rejected a call to ban coronavirus misinformation because the platform values “dissent”, open discussion and debate.
  • This approach is different from other social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, which have cracked down on posts that promote false information, such as misleading stories about vaccines.
  • Many Reddit users on Reddit’s biggest forums and subreddits have upvoted a post calling for Reddit to act against the rampant Coronavirus misinformation on the website.
  • For tips on staying safe on Reddit, check out our safety card.
  • Full story, here.

Record numbers of children are being prescribed antidepressants

  • New figures from the NHS reveal that children are being prescribed antidepressants in record numbers.
  • In 2020, 231,791 prescriptions for the drugs were issued to children aged between five and sixteen.
  • Health service guidance suggests that anti-depressants should only be offered to under-18s in cases of moderate or severe depression, alongside talking therapies.
  • Studies suggest that lockdowns and missed schooling, alongside the pressures of social media, could contribute to higher rates of mental distress.
  • Full story, here.

New relationships and sex education (RSHE) guidance in schools

  • New relationships and sex education guidance is about to come into force in schools and colleges from September.
  • The introduction of this guidance has been delayed due to the pandemic, but all schools and colleges are expected to have the updated curriculum in place.
  • The guidance outlines that schools must teach relationships education in key stages 1 and 2, relationships and sex education in key stages 3 and 4, and health education in key stages 1 to 4.
  • Everyone’s Invited and Ofsted’s subsequent review of sexual harassment contributed to the renewed calls for schools to prioritise RSHE.
  • The guidance can be found here.
  • Full story, here.

High levels of Covid ‘highly likely’ in schools after re-opening

  • Scientists have advised the government that high levels of Covid are ‘highly likely’ in schools in England by the end of September.
  • This follows the record rise of cases in Scotland since schools re-opening, the upcoming decision on whether a vaccine will be offered to 12-15-year-olds in England and the warning about Freshers’ week parties.
  • Despite concerns, the World Health Organisation and Unicef claim that schools must be made safe for students and staff and urge governments to ensure keeping schools open is a primary objective.
  • Full story, here.

 Lack of specialists impacting pupils with special educational needs

  • Councils in England are struggling to complete children’s education and care plans before the new school year because of a shortage of specialists.
  • Education health and care plans (EHCPs) set out the extra provision that children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are legally entitled to.
  • However, councils are failing to appropriately assess the level of support children with special educational needs require.
  • A letter sent to parents this month by North Yorkshire County council indicates that most local authorities in England do not have enough of these specialists to provide essential reports.
  • Full story, here.