Facebook adds new features to Newsfeed

    • Facebook is adding features to users’ main news feed, including letting them limit comments on their public posts to friends or even specific tagged people.
    • This feature is similar to the one rolled out by Twitter last year.
    • Facebook will also make it easier to revert to “chronological” mode, with the latest posts displayed first.
    • The company abandoned this model in 2009, although the option remained buried in a menu, in favour of using algorithms to rank the content shown.
    • However,  on Wednesday, Vice-president Nick Clegg said a lack of transparency and information available to users had led to mistrust.
    • Facebook has now moved its “most recent” option to a new “feed filter bar”, at the top of the news feed, which also allows users to prioritise posts from up to 30 friends or particular pages.
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    Helpline set up by NSPCC to deal with sexual abuse scandal in schools

    • A helpline and immediate review into sexual abuse in schools have been set up by the government after thousands of testimonies were posted online from students.
    • Ofsted will look at safeguarding in both state and independent schools.
    • The helpline will be run by the NSPCC to support potential victims and provide advice to children and adults.
    • “Sexual abuse in any form is abhorrent and it is vital that these allegations are dealt with properly,” Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said.
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    Tackling sexual abuse not just for schools, say heads

    • The problem of sexual violence and abuse is not just an issue for schools to tackle, say head teachers.
    • Social media companies, parents and the criminal justice system all have a role to play, says the school leaders’ union, ASCL.
    • ASCL boss Geoff Barton says schools work very hard in this area and take these matters extremely seriously.
    • His comments come as the website ‘Everyone’s Invited’ records over 10,000 testimonies of abuse from young people.
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    Schools could make curriculum and policy changes amid women’s safety call

    • Curriculum and policy changes could be made by schools amid growing calls to tackle violence and harassment against women and girls.
    • One establishment is considering introducing self-defence classes for younger pupils, while another is now allowing girls to wear strappy tops on non-uniform days.
    • Julie Keller, Head of Nottingham Girls’ High School, told the PA news agency that older pupils feel like they have a “call to action” following the death of 33-year-old Sarah Everard.
    • “I think there’ll be a new wave, a new movement of this discussion about women and their safety. I think it’s really important,” Ms Keller said.
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    Rise in pupils in NI with mental health issues in 2020

    • Schools reported greater numbers of pupils with mental health issues in 2020, some “directly related to lockdown”.
    • That was revealed in newly-published reports from the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI).
    • The ETI reports analyse how schools were affected by the lockdown of March to June 2020 and the subsequent return of pupils from August to December.
    • They include evidence from schools and youth services.
    • For the full story, select here.