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Keep informed with news, articles and stories about all things related to children, young people and families.

2015 Volunteers’ Week and the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Volunteering among young people is increasing, and the government’s ‘Step Up to Serve’ campaign has encouraged this. Volunteers’ Week is an annual event that takes place on 1-7 June, celebrating the contribution of millions of volunteers across the UK. The event is run by NCVO in partnership with Development Scotland, Volunteer Now and Wales Council for Voluntary Action. Events take place throughout the country showcasing the different volunteering roles on offer, taster sessions and team…
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More children reading for fun

According to an annual survey carried out by the National Literacy Trust, an increasing number of children are reading for fun in their spare time. The report surveyed 32,000 children between 8 and 18 years old. 40% of children said they thought reading was ‘cool’ and 41% said they read daily outside school, up from 32% in the previous year. The research suggests that there are persistent differences between boys and girls, with 47% of…
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Report claims exam results improve with school ban on mobile phones

A report by the London School of Economics found that a ban on mobile phones in schools can positively impact exam results. The authors argue that despite the benefits mobile technology offers, phones are often a distraction for young people and can reduce productivity. Schools in four British cities were monitored and results showed that exam results increased by 6% in schools that had introduced bans on mobile phones. Low-achieving and low-income students were found…
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Online manners more important than computer skills

Schools should be teaching children how to behave online before they teach computing skills such as coding, according to American cyber law expert Parry Aftab during a presentation at Facebook’s international headquarters in Dublin. Aftab argued that digital devices increase children’s opportunities to act impulsively and without consideration for the consequences of their actions, thus creating long lasting problems for some. Aftab expressed particular concern for young people taking intimate photos and sharing them, without…
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Study finds link between television viewing and obesity

A strong link between childhood obesity and television viewing has been found in a study presented to the Pediatric Academic Societies in the US. The study found that Nursery and Primary age children who watched at least one hour of television a day are 50% more likely to be overweight. These children were also found to be far more likely to be obese. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that children watch no more…
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Family time found to have a positive impact on teenagers’ wellbeing and behaviour

A longitudinal study which followed 1,600 children internationally found that once they reach adolescence the opportunity to spend six hours or more a week with family had a significant impact on their wellbeing, behaviour and academic performance. The researchers analysed time diaries kept by the children and their parents to find out how ‘time together’ influenced the children’s wellbeing. Time diaries were collected when the children were 3 to 11 years old and again when…
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Debate about children playing computer games

A new study from Oxford suggests that games are not all bad, but parents should pay close attention to the amount of time children play computer games. The study has found that children who play computer games for less than an hour a day are likely to be less aggressive, more sociable, have fewer emotional problems and do better at school than their peers, performing better at school than classmates who never played computer games….
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Children’s perception of favouritism affects their behaviour

Research has found that when children believe their parents favour another sibling this affects their behaviour. American psychologist Alex Jensen found that teenagers who believed they were receiving less favoured treatment were more likely to ‘act out’ and get into trouble. These young people were, for example, more likely to have tried alcohol, cigarettes and drugs compared with other teenagers. Jensen however found that family dynamics influence whether young people who feel they are treated…
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House of Lords report highlights importance of teaching digital skills

‘Make or Break: The UK’s Digital Future’ the report published this week by the House of Lords Digital Skills Committee warns that the UK is facing a significant digital skills shortage and is currently unprepared for the impact technology will have on the labour market. The review, which included FK&Y research carried out for Tablets for Schools’, urged the Government to address the digital divide and make digital literacy a core subject at school alongside…
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Stress of the school run

In a survey for road safety charity Living Streets 32% of parents of children who attend primary schools described the school run in the morning as ‘highly stressful’. 44% of the parents surveyed said they had feared for their children’s safety on the school run, at the school gates, or in the surrounding area. 14% of parents said they had feared for their own safety during the school run. The charity is therefore encouraging more…
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