Charities Warn That Children and Young People Struggling with Mental Health 

  • Childline has reported a rise in calls from children struggling with their mental health during the lockdown across the West Midlands.
  • Eating disorder charity Beat says young people are spending more time online where they can be exposed to harmful images. It has seen a rise in extra calls and a 162 per cent increase in social media contact.
  • The National Children’s Bureau says it is also concerned that under-fives are also suffering long term damage from a lack of contact with other children.
  • Neil Homer, of Great Barr, volunteers as a Childline counsellor in the West Midlands said: “Some children I have spoken to recently feel that the world is a scary place and everything might not go back to how it was before.”

Man Posed as Girl to Get Photographs 

  • A paedophile who worked at a private school in South West London as a rowing coach posed as a teenage girl online to get children to send him nude photos.
  • The Paedophile Online Investigation Team began investigating the man in April 2018, working to identify his victims.
  • The man admitted charges at Guildford Crown Court and was sentenced on Friday, June 5th to six years in prison.
  • Senior Investigating Officer, Detective Inspector Martin Goodwin said: “While social media has many positives, it’s a reminder not to trust people you don’t know and treat any conversation you have online as you would with someone in the street.”

Parents ‘Bottle it’ on Phone Use, says Headteacher 

Autism Diagnoses Should Not be Completed Via Video Conferencing

  • Dr Lisa Williams, the Clinical Director of Autism Service has said that autism diagnostic assessments cannot be done via video conferencing. 
  • She said that the outbreak of COVID-19 led many businesses and organisations to work remotely but that “autism is a disorder of social communication and interaction. To diagnose it, you need to observe and assess how a person communicates and interacts…as soon as you put a video camera between two people – with or without autism – communication and interaction are distorted.
  • To find out how you can use technology to support children with autism check out our blog.

Government Plans to Reopen Schools Failing 

  • Plans to reopen schools in England are failing after the government admitted that not all primary school pupils will be able to return to the classroom before the end of summer.
  • Gavin Williamson, the education secretary is expected to concede publicly that many primary pupils will not return to their classrooms until the new school year in autumn.
  • Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: “If confirmed, we’re pleased to see the government will not force the impossible. Schools will continue to use their flexibility, intelligently, to deliver the very best for all the pupils in their school.”

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