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

Should technology be banned in school?

Last week Dr John Vallance, principal of highly acclaimed Sydney Grammar School, spoke out against the use of technology in schools. He describes the use of laptops and tablets in class as a ‘scandalous waste of money’ which only benefit giant US tech companies. Dr Vallance is a highly respected educationalist. Born and educated in Australia, he went on to complete his MPhil and PhD at the University of Cambridge where he subsequently taught Classics…
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Research examines impact of feeding peanuts to infants

A new study has looked at whether eating peanuts as a young child effects the likelihood of being allergic to them later on. 640 infants with severe eczema, an egg allergy, or both were split into two groups. Some of the infants also tested positive for peanut allergy. The infants, aged 4-11 months at the start of the research were either given peanut snacks or asked to avoid peanuts until they were 5 years old….
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American women waiting longer to have children

Across the United States the average age of first time mothers has increased across all races and ethnicities. Over the past four decades the average age of first time mothers has increased from 21 years old in 1970 to 26 years old in 2014. According to the National Centre for Health Statistics this can be attributed to a decline in teenage pregnancies and an increase in women having children over the age of 30. Mothers…
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Poll of favourite book heroes/heroines and villains reveal more females in both categories

A literary poll of favourite children’s novel characters was conducted by National Book Tokens in honour of upcoming World Book Day on 3 March. Over 7,000 people took part in the poll in which they identified their favourite heroes/heroines and villains. The top hero and villain were both male, and both from the Harry Potter books. Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort respectively took the top spots. Of the heroes and heroines, girls took 6 of…
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Research shows cost of bringing up a child in the UK rises to £230,000

The UK Centre for Economics and Business Research has released research calculating the estimated cost of raising a child born this year to the age of 21. The figure has increased since 2003 by 65% to £231,843. Unsurprisingly this figure rises to £373,000 with the inclusion of private schooling and is even higher for boarding school children. Break-downs of the estimated costs include: £70,466 for childcare and babysitting, £74,430 for education and £19,004 for food….
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#ToyLikeMe campaign inspires first ever LEGO toy in wheelchair

LEGO has released its first mini-figure in a wheelchair after a petition launched last year called #ToyLikeMe received over 20,000 signatures. Journalist Rebecca Atkinson, co-founder of the petition, argued that LEGO was excluding ‘150 million disabled children worldwide by failing to positively represent them in its products’. The figure was spotted at the Nuremburg and London toy fairs wearing a beanie, hoodie and with a small dog. Australian academic Katie Ellis stressed the importance…
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Commercialisation and Childhood: Resilience, Responsibility, and Media Literacy

FK&Y spoke this week at the Policy UK Forum conference about the way in which children and young people want support to use the internet responsibly and the way in which families feel digital is taking over family communication. Drawing on our research for the IKEA Play Report which interviewed nearly 30,000 parents, children and young people in 12 countries, Heidi Hasbrouck, lead ethnographer at FK&Y, illustrated that two in five parents and young people…
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As we approach Christmas, MD Dr Barbie Clarke sums up our year…

2015 has been an excellent year for us with increased growth in revenue and the size of our team. We are very proud of the publication of the IKEA Play Report and look forward to working with the IKEA children’s team once again next year. Our literature review for the Committee of Advertising Practitioners (CAP) on online food and beverage marketing to children was published in February. Also in February, education charity Techknowledge for Schools…
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OECD report on technology in schools faces critique from head teachers

A global report by the OECD claims investing in school computers does not improve student performance. The report argues instead that frequent use of computers is associated with lower results. The findings are based on the international PISA tests, which are taken in 70 countries worldwide. The OECD’s education director Andreas Schleicher however states that the report’s findings should not be used as an excuse not to use technology, but rather as a prompt to…
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Study finds over-controlling parenting can cause long term harm

A study which tracked more than 5,000 people born between the 1940s and present day has explored the relationship between parenting and wellbeing. The University College London (UCL) study found that parents who exerted too much control over their children could be causing them long term harm. People who reported that their parents had intruded on their privacy during childhood or encouraged dependence were more likely to have low scores in surveys of happiness and…
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