TikTok ‘failing to meet its own standards’ on vaccine misinformation

  • TikTok announced last year that it would be attaching trustworthy information to vaccine related videos to prevent COVID-19 misinformation.
  • A new report from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) found that almost 60% of videos were potentially exposing users to harmful misinformation.
  • ISD researchers found that some features like the duet feature and the lack of text-based references in the video format, allows misinformation to spread ‘freely.’
  • Read our blog on The Spread of Misinformation, here.
  • Full story, here.


Secondary school pupils in England advised to wear masks

  • Due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 Omicron variant, the education secretary has stated that he wants to make education settings “as safe as possible”.
  • He strongly advised that masks be worn in communal areas.
  • The Department of Education said this guidance is temporary but would be reviewed in three weeks.
  • This follows a government’s announcement that face masks are to become mandatory in England, in shops and on public transport, from the 30th of November.
  • Full story, here.


School heads forced to act like ‘COVID-19 police’

  • A survey conducted on a group of 1,500 school leaders in England has revealed that school leaders felt forced to act as ‘COVID police’ during the pandemic.
  • More than half of primary leaders and just under half of secondary leaders had issues with “small but vocal” groups of parents.
  • These issues ranged from ‘anti-vaxxers’, COVID-sceptics and those afraid of COVID-19 who were unwilling to send their children to school.
  • Around 25% of school leaders reported that they “felt like they were sinking’ during the pandemic and 2 in 5 considered leaving the profession.
  • This follows a survey conducted by the Essex Primary Headteachers’ Association where school leaders rated their work-life balance at 3.6 out of 10 and their happiness in the role at 3.8 out of 10.
  • Full story, here.

UK moving child refugees into hotels

  • Record numbers of unaccompanied child asylum seekers who have arrived in the UK, are being accommodated in four hotels along England’s south coast.
  • Various organisations have expressed concern about this, with Ofsted saying it is an ‘unacceptable practice’ and the Children’s Society expressing that the situation is ‘shocking’.
  • The Children’s Society Policy and Practice Advisor, Marieke Widmann, maintains that “moving unaccompanied children into hotels with limited care and supervision is shocking and places these already vulnerable children at incredible risk”.
  • Hotels are meant to be a temporary measure, but for some children these arrangements have lasted for more than a month.
  • Full story, here.


Mental health digital platform and service for young people launches

  • Three London NHS trusts, alongside the charity CW+ and other partners, have launched ‘Best For You,’ a new mental health service for young people.
  • The new service will aim to help young people needing urgent mental health support.
  • Users will be able to access crisis information, a free and confidential text support service, peer support and information on how to access mental health services.
  • The launch of ‘Best For You’ marks the first time that specialist mental health care is integrated with community services and digital tools.
  • Full story, here.