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March 13, 2023

Need for children’s advocate in Online Safety Bill, urges charities

  • Five of the UK’s leading children’s charities are urging the Government to consider independent online advocates to promote and protect young people’s interests.
  • The charities calling for an advocate include the NSPCC, Barnardo’s, 5Rights, the Molly Rose Foundation and the Breck Foundation.
  • This advocate would represent the interests of young people to online regulator Ofcom.
  • This could force companies to make changes that might be causing harm to children and young people.
  • Ofcom will have the ability to fine companies up to 10% of their global turnover and jail bosses for failure to protect children and young people from online harms.
  • Baroness Newlove is leading the amendment to the Online Safety Bill, stating “Companies have unleashed poorly designed products that have contributed in no small part to online child abuse spiralling to record levels.”
  • For more on this story, please visit the Telegraph’s website.

Senedd backs call for legislation over the use of biometric data in schools

  • Members of the Welsh Parliament (Senedd) have been told that biometric systems are not mandatory for pupils in Wales.
  • Biometric systems include taking fingerprints from pupils, commonly used in lunch canteens.
  • Senned member, Sarah Murphy led a debate last week calling for the Education Minister to write to all schools for a temporary ban on biometric technology and use of bodily data.
  • She called for the ban to be issued until the Information Commissioner carries out an assessment regarding the use of children’s data across UK educational systems.
  • The Minister has stated that schools are legally responsible for any data that they collect and use and should ensure that any biometric data is stored securely and only for as long as necessary.
  • For more on this story, please visit the Deeside website.


Labour say safeguarding concerns ‘missed’ due to infrequent school inspections

  • Children’s safety and wellbeing concerns are being missed due to “infrequent” Ofsted school inspections, says shadow education secretary.
  • The Labour party stated they would create an annual review of safeguarding in schools, due to fears that too many girls are “being exposed to intolerable, language, images and behaviour.”
  • Safeguarding concerns are covered in Ofsted inspections but it can be years before schools are inspected again.
  • A review by Ofsted in June 2021 found that sexual harassment was normalised for many pupils.
  • Boys were found to be sharing inappropriate pictures among themselves on WhatsApp and Snapchat.
  • Labour have set out plans to move away from Ofsted’s four headline grades and instead use a “new report card” system.
  • For the full story, please visit Central Fife Times website.