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

Cost of childcare more than a mortgage

The Family and Childcare Trust this week published research showing that the average cost of childcare in the UK is now higher than the cost of mortgages for many families. According to the report the cost of childcare has risen 27% since 2009, while wages have remained stable. The trust suggests that this makes childcare increasingly unaffordable, forcing some parents to refrain from returning to the workforce after becoming a parent.

Every body is beautiful

An American high school student has started a petition to include plus-size female characters in Disney movies. In the petition, which is titled ‘Every body is beautiful’, Jewel Moore argues that young girls who struggle with low self-esteem will benefit from seeing positive role-models in the media. The petition has achieved over 22,000 signatures.

The end of toy gender labelling?

Critics have long criticised toy manufacturers and retailers for organising toys by gender, which has led Marks and Spencer and Hamley’s in the UK to desist labelling products by gender. Clients who have experienced our workshops will know that there is debate about the extent to which play and toys might influence children’s personalities and preferences. Psychologist Dr Amanda Gummer argues that children benefit from being exposed to many different toys and play scenarios which…
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BBC research on goals and aspirations of children

Research carried out for the BBC’s children’s channel CBBC asked over 1,600 children aged 8 to 12 about their goals and aspirations for the future. According to the survey, the most popular future job for boys is to be a footballer (24%) followed by a police officer (6%), while girls most wanted to be a teacher (16%) followed by a hairdresser (13%). Although children are clearly thinking about what they want to do in the…
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Google homework help

A survey commissioned by L’Oreal and EDF Energy presented this week at The Times Cheltenham Science Festival showed that more than half of British secondary school children trust Google over their parents for help with their Science homework. One teacher interviewed believed that this was not necessarily a negative development, as it can support children learning to work independently and develop critical research skills.

Link between exposure to pornography and risk taking among children

Last week the Children’s Commissioner for England released a report which argues that there is a link between exposure to pornographic images at an early age and risky behaviour, such as experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and expressing aggressive behaviour towards the opposite sex. Boys were found to be more susceptible to this than girls. Maggie Atkinson, the Children’s Commissioner, argued that children are more exposed to pornography now than ever before due to almost…
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UK’s first technology addiction programme

Earlier this week The Telegraph posted an article commenting on children becoming addicted to their device, such as Tablets. Dr Richard Graham runs the UK’s first technology addiction programme, and describes treating clients as young as four years old who have developed obsessive behaviour towards technology. Dr Graham expresses concern that children who are vulnerable to obsessive behaviour may develop a lack of social skills due to excessive use of technology, and argues that for…
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Honywood’s Celebration of Learning – Dr Barbie Clarke

Celebration of learning at Honywood is an emotional affair. Asked to present prizes for achievement to learners at the school this month, I met with some truly amazing young people. Honywood Community Science School in Essex was one of our first Tablets for Schools research partners; the leadership, staff, teachers and learners have contributed a great deal to our findings, as well as the development of the Tablets for Schools initiative. Despite the cold, and…
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Unhappy Children and Young People

A recent survey from the Prince’s Trust makes sad reading. Interviews with 2,136 young people in the UK aged 16-24, indicates that 1 in 10 feel they cannot cope with day-to-day life. ‘Neets’, those not in work, education or training are more than twice as likely to feel that way with 52% saying they often or always feel depressed. The survey also found that nearly a quarter of young people, 22%, felt that they did…
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Tablets for Schools

This month sees the launch of the Tablets for Schools website and the publication of stage 1 of our research report. Tablets for Schools is a CSR initiative led by Andrew Harrison, CEO at the Carphone Warehouse, and supported by Dixons, Samsung, Acer, Microsoft, eLearning Foundation, Sony, TalkTalk and 9ine amongst others. The research carried out 2011-12 followed 3 schools in Essex, Kent and Belfast that had introduced one-to-one tablets for pupils in September 2011…
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