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October 2, 2023

Shouting at children can be as damaging as physical or sexual abuse, study says

  • Research has found that parents who shout at their children are leaving them at greater risk of self-harm, drug use and ending up in jail.
  • The authors reported that “adult-to-child perpetration of verbal abuse is characterised by shouting, yelling, denigrating the child, and verbal threats”.
  • Professor Shanta R Dube, a US expert in child abuse and a co-author of the study, reported that adults are often unaware of how their tone and use of words such as “stupid” or “lazy” can negatively impact children.
  • One recent UK survey of 1,000 11–17-year-olds found 41% said that adults frequently used harmful and upsetting words towards them.
  • Professor Peter Fonagy, a co-author of the paper, the head of the division of psychology and language sciences at University College London (UCL) and the chief executive of the Anna Freud centre added that “exposure to verbal abuse profoundly affects children” and can cause “mental disorders, increased likelihood of recreating abusive situations in their lives, for example finding a partner who is abusive to them, as well as finding themselves repeating the abuse with others.”.
  • Dube stated that childhood verbal abuse “is not on the radar for detection” and is hard to prevent as few adults are aware it is a common and harmful problem.
  • For more, please visit The Guardian website.

Gillian Keegan pledges crackdown on mobiles in schools

  • The Department for Education wants children to be barred from using devices on breaks and in class.
  • The government says they are confident that expanding guidance will make a difference in reducing the usage of phones during the school day. The new guidance will be issued “shortly”.
  • These new guidelines will allow pupils to bring their phones to school to be used on journeys, but not during the school day.
  • Heads already have the power to restrict phones on their premises and the government estimated that in 2018, 95% of schools had imposed restrictions.
  • The government have said it supports any head teacher who wants to implement restrictions.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Half a million people are in ‘very deep poverty’ in Scotland

  • According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), half a million people are in “very deep poverty” in Scotland, with women and ethnic minorities being disproportionately at risk.
  • 60% of children living in poverty have at least one parent who works, and a tenth of workers were paid below the Real Living Wage for at least four in five years.
  • Housing costs had a huge impact, with 110,000 people in working families “pulled into poverty due to their housing costs” meaning their income was “enough to escape poverty” but outgoings were excessive.
  • JRF associate director for Scotland Chris Birt, stated that the Scottish Government “can still meet its child poverty reduction targets but it needs to get a move on”.
  • A UK Government spokesperson has reported that the “Government’s priorities are clear – the best way to help people in Scotland and across the United Kingdom with the cost of living is by driving down inflation and growing our economy”.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.