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

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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Digital Kids at MIP Junior, Cannes

Cannes in October is not to be missed. Speaking about our Digital Kids and Youth Research (see here) this month at MIP Junior prompted much discussion about the nature of children’s engagement with digital content. It can be complex. Like many adults, children expect to be entertained through their digital device, but they also view it, or them (for many have more than one means of connecting to the internet) as an extension of their…
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Children in Chile

An invitation to Chile this month to talk about child development and the beneficial effects of music to children’s social, emotional and cognitive progress was the result of our report on Children and Music prepared for Unilever. Supporting Unilever’s CSR initiative with Unicef, children from a poor area of Santiago played in a superbly produced ‘swing band’ at the launch of the report. Questions from the audience that included representatives of children’s organisations, business, politicians…
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Tablet Schools: inspiring schools and inspiring leadership

In our recent research we have been visiting UK schools that use one-to-one tablet computers. Research has included ethnography, focus groups and individual interviews with pupils, teachers and parents. A noticeable characteristic of these schools is the inspiring leadership and innovative thinking that has led to the adoption of one-to-one devices. While undoubtedly a big commitment and one that requires a big investment on the part of the school, including ensuring that there is sufficient…
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Children need recognition and acceptance

Much has been written about the Tiger Mother, and the term ‘helicopter parenting’ appears to be ubiquitous. But what exactly does this mean, and why is there such questioning about the style of parenting adopted globally? Constant, demanding attention on the part of an over-ambitious (and over-anxious) parent is not healthy for children. While they need encouragement to learn and to thrive, children also need space and privacy. Parenting styles have always differed across cultures,…
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Allowing children the freedom to play outside

The Nation Trust’s campaign to allow children the freedom the play is something that resonates with much of the work we have done over the last few years. The ’50 things to do before you are 11 ¾’ campaign sums up beautifully the ability of a charitable organisation to promote behavioural change amongst children and families. Based on research carried out by the Trust, the campaign provides a checklist for under 12’s to get active…
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