Instagram adds Reels Replies  

  • Instagram has officially announced that users can reply to comments on Instagram posts with a Reel.
  • Reels is an Instagram feature that allows users to create 15-second videos with popular music, filters, and effects.
  • This new ability to create a video reply to other users has been developed to boost engagement with the feature and to rival the similar feature announced by TikTok in June of last year.
  • Check out our Instagram safety card, here.
  • Full story, here.


Vulnerable children risk falling into crime if schools do not reopen after Christmas  

  • The anticipated spike in Covid-19 infections, due to the Omicron variant, has caused growing concern that schools will be closed once again.
  • Campaigners have warned that further school closures will result in vulnerable children being drawn into violent crime, drug dealing and sexual abuse.
  • Former Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has also warned that closures mean the most vulnerable and marginalised children were most likely to suffer.
  • Longfield expressed concern that the drop in referrals from schools to social services shows the impact of the pandemic on schools to effectively safeguard the most at-risk children and young people.
  • Full story, here.


Beauticians illegally offering lip fillers to under 18’s on social media  

  • A BBC investigation has found that under-18’s can contact practitioners on social media, despite Facebook’s policy that their Marketplace site must not promote the sale of cosmetic procedures.
  • It is illegal for under-18’s to receive dermal fillers for cosmetic reasons – this includes making an appointment or agreeing to undertake the procedure for an underage client.
  • The BBC investigators created a Facebook profile of 16-year-old ‘Jennie May’ to test the above and found that the profile was able to contact more than 200 practitioners, one in five of whom were willing to treat underage ‘Jennie’.
  • In response to these findings, Facebook has confirmed that certain search terms have now been blocked and listings that violate its guidelines will be removed.
  • Full story, here.


Hunt launched to find ‘ghost children’ missing from schools in England

  • England’s children’s commissioner, Rachel de Souza, is launching an investigation to locate ‘ghost children’ who have fallen off the radar during the pandemic.
  • De Souza has said the inquiry would focus on 10 local authorities and would assess why ‘missing’ students have disappeared from official view, these 10 areas are yet to be identified.
  • Some estimates have suggested that as many as 100,000 children are at risk of abuse after failing to return to school following the lockdown last year, with two causes for this lack of return being a lack of mental health provision for children and the lack of provision for children with special educational needs.
  • This follows the tragic death of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Ofsted’s findings that nearly half of council children’s services require improvement or are inadequate.
  • Full story, here.

Third of teachers concerned about Covid-19 risk     

  • A survey carried out by the Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) has found that almost a third of teachers in Scotland do not think their classrooms have adequate ventilation to combat the risk of Covid-19.
  • The issue repeatedly raised in the survey was balancing necessary ventilation requirements and a comfortable working environment for staff and their pupils, especially as the weather worsens.
  • Only 6% of the 16,000 teachers who responded said they wanted to see pupil face coverings removed in secondary schools and a slight minority (47%) of teachers said they felt safe.
  • Full story, here.

One in five teenage girls has been sexually assaulted, survey finds  

  • A survey carried out for The Post, found that 1 in 5 teenage girls has been sexually assaulted, with three out of five enduring sexual harassment.
  • The survey has revealed the abuse of girls and young women across Scotland’s schools and was created following the launch of the Everyone’s Invited website, which saw 105 Scottish schools named.
  • Furthermore, 70% of the girls and women interviewed do not believe the scale of the crisis is understood and 80% want to see action taken to curb harassment.
  • The findings have resulted in calls for urgent action to change how children and young people are taught about relationships, sex and to curb access to online pornography.
  • Full story, here.