Reading Time: 3.6 mins

January 8, 2024

A sexual assault in the metaverse has investigators questioning the future of virtual crime prosecution 

  • Last week, a young person aged under 16 in the UK has claimed that her avatar was gang-raped in an immersive virtual-reality game, and the case is being investigated by UK authorities.
  • Authorities are considering whether such an act in the metaverse can be criminally charged.
  • Although she was not physically injured, a senior police officer familiar with the case reported that she had experienced trauma similar to real-life assault.
  • A spokesperson for Meta stated: “The kind of behaviour described has no place on our platform, which is why for all users, we have an automatic protection called personal boundary, which keeps people you don’t know a few feet away from you.”
  • Katherine Cross, who researches online harassment at the University of Washington, reported: “If it’s real enough to be marketable in a unique way, it’s real enough for there to be social consequences and psychological consequences when something goes wrong.”
  • For more, please visit the Yahoo News website.

One in three parents believe pandemic showed children do not need to go to school every day, poll finds 

  • A poll, conducted by YouGov for the Centre of Social Justice (CSJ), found that almost one in three parents believe that the Covid-19 pandemic showed it is not essential for children to attend school every day.
  • 28% of parents felt this way, and only 70% are confident that their child’s needs are being met.
  • The CSJ chief executive Andy Cook reported that there is “fundamental work to be done in rebuilding the contract between families and schools.”
  • He continued: “Parents have legitimate expectations of schools which government must help them to deliver, but as parents, we need to take responsibility for getting our kids ready for school, at school, and for keeping them engaged in school.”
  • The report of the findings titled ‘The Missing Link: Restoring The Bond Between Schools And Families’, the CSJ sets out a seven-point plan to “focus on parental engagement and whole family support.”
  • The plan includes calls for mental health support and the roll out of attendance mentors as well as recommending a review of the effectiveness of fines and prosecutions for absences.
  • For more, please visit the Sky News website.

The following story may be regionalised:

Headteachers may refuse Ofsted entry due to fears for teachers’ mental health 

  • Headteachers have told the Observer they are considering refusing entry to Ofsted until the inspectorate commits to significant change, after a coroner’s warning that the inspection system risks contributing to future deaths.
  • Sir Martyn Oliver, the new chief inspector of Ofsted announced a two-week pause to inspections until 22nd January while inspectors received “immediate training” on alleviating stress.
  • The head of a school in a deprived area said: “We are just expected to go back to normal after this short pause, but nothing is really changing. I think I am well within my rights to say: ‘You’re not coming in.’”
  • Prof Lucy Easthope, an adviser on disaster recovery, said: “The traumas we are seeing as a result of inspections – fainting, being unable to speak, being sick – mirror the reactions of families being given the worst news in a disaster recovery centre.”
  • Prof Easthope continued: “You can’t learn how to address that in half a day.”
  • For more, please visit The Guardian website.

Stop following old Covid rules and send sniffly kids to school, parents to be told 

  • A nationwide marketing campaign is being launched today, aimed at convincing parents to ensure their children go to all classes.
  • The strapline reads: “moments matter, attendance counts.”
  • Parents will be told to stop the Covid-era practice of keeping children off school with sore throats and runny noses as part of a government push to tackle soaring absenteeism.
  • The number of secondary school children persistently absent in England has doubled in the last decade, from 567,000 in 2010 to 894,444 in 2021.
  • Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary stated: “Tackling attendance is my number-one priority. We want all our children to have the best start in life because we know that attending school is vital to a child’s wellbeing, development, and attainment, as well as impact future career success.”
  • For more, please visit the Telegraph website.