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August 30, 2023

Children on free school meals ‘more likely to experience harm online’

  • New research conducted by Children’s online safety group Internet Matters has found that disadvantaged children are more likely to experience harm online.
  • Its survey of children and parents appeared to show that pupils who received free school meals generally experienced more negative emotions than their peers.
  • 74% of children surveyed reported experiencing at least one online harm, compared to 60% of those not receiving free school meals.
  • A quarter of free school meals children said that they have more friends online than they do at school, compared with 19% of children who do not receive free school meals.
  • Similarly, parents of children who receive free school meals are consistently more likely to report their child as having been exposed to a wide range of online harms.
  • Parents of those receiving free school meals were more than twice as likely to say that their children had poor body image or low self-esteem as a result of what they have seen online.
  • For more, please visit the Yahoo News website.

The following stories may be regionalised:

Concern over children buying vapes and alcohol through online apps

  • Concerns have been raised about underage children using grocery apps to buy vapes and alcohol in Perth and Kinross.
  • It is illegal for a retailer to sell vaping products or alcohol to anyone under 18 years old.
  • Police Scotland raised concerns over “current trends” which showed online apps can be used by children to purchase restricted products.
  • It comes after an application for provisional premises licence for a new Premier store was put forward.
  • The board was told of plans for home deliveries to be made to customers using the Snappy Shopper app.
  • The app states it has robust checks and “diligent age verification” systems and takes underaged sales very seriously.
  • Police Scotland were satisfied with the application being approved, subject to the condition that delivery drivers must carry a copy of their licence or training record.
  • For more, please visit the STV News website.

Council cuts may leave children in Wales poorer according to charity

  • Councils in Wales expect to see a shortfall of £394.8m in funding over the next two years.
  • According to the Bevan Foundation, 21% of children in Gwynedd’s Arfon constituency are disadvantaged.
  • These fundings cuts will severely impact services such as youth clubs and projects like Porthi Dre.
  • The Children in Wales charity described the future cuts as “deeply concerning”.
  • People are reporting an “inability to access basic services” and “young people missing out on access to health services and education”.
  • Bangor university social policy lecturer, Dr Hefin Gwilym has said that “if further cuts are made to a service that has no way for more cuts, it’s going to have a huge impact on those children and their opportunities.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

More support for children with special educational needs

  • Over a thousand more children and young people with SEND are set to benefit from access to high-quality specialised learning, with seven new special free schools in Cambridgeshire, Kent, Merton and Norfolk.
  • This investment will double the number of special free school places available.
  • Backed by £70 million, local authorities will help inform the development of a new national standard.
  • Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing, Claire Coutinho, stated: “Making sure children with special educational needs and disabilities get a superb education is a priority.”
  • The government is also confirming an expansion in training for early years staff, adding an extra 2,000 training places for early years special educational needs co-ordinators.
  • For more, please visit the  GOV.UK website.