Children | LocalGov

Seven areas selected for £45m child protection trial


Seven more areas in England have been selected to trial the Families First for Children (FFC) scheme, a £45m child protection programme.

Lancashire plans to build 15 new children's homes


Up to 15 new children’s homes, which aim to provide the 'right care in the right place at the right time', could be created across Lancashire.

Union criticises Government’s ‘shameful’ SEND support


Teachers and support staff are ‘losing faith’ in the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system due to inadequate resources, a union has warned.

Social workers’ concerns not addressed, union warns


Welfare concerns raised by social workers are not being dealt with, putting vulnerable people at risk, a union has warned.

Record 4.3m children in poverty


More than 4m children are living in poverty, with an additional 100,000 children being pushed into hardship over the last year, Government figures reveal.

Absence fines without tackling causes 'will not work'


Plans to boost school attendance do not address the wider factors that contribute to persistent absence, a think-tank and council bosses have warned.

Over 10,000 children missing from education system


Local authorities in England have no idea what has happened to over 10,000 children who have left state education.

Council to revisit how it calculated allowances to 300 families


An investigation has revealed that Devon County Council has been calculating incorrectly allowances for families who look after children as special guardians.

Children’s needs not prioritised, service leaders warn


Children’s services directors have raised concerns that government policy does not prioritise children, while their previous asks of Whitehall ‘remain unaddressed’.

The joys of inclusive play


Nathalie Esfandi, co-founder of the Fair Play playground, discusses the important role local councils can play in creating inclusive play environments.

Council chiefs call for oral health investment


Council leaders have called for investment in oral health after research found that last year there were 33,000 operations to remove rotten teeth in children.

Children with SEND just ‘badly behaved’, councillors claim


Warwickshire CC has launched an investigation after a video revealed councillors making disparaging remarks about children with special educational needs.

Emergency mental healthcare referrals for children up 50%


Psychiatrists call for more support for young people as an analysis reveals the number of children referred for emergency mental healthcare has increased 50%.

Crisis support requests quadruple in five years, FOI reveals


Applications to council crisis funds for help with beds for children have more than quadrupled in half a decade, a children’s charity has revealed.

Suffolk councillors resign over ‘widespread’ SEND failings


Three councillors have resigned their posts at Suffolk CC after a damning report found there were ‘widespread’ failings affecting SEND outcomes.

Campaign to raise data and safeguarding awareness launched


Local authorities and social service providers have been urged to do more to raise awareness about responsible data sharing to protect children from harm.

Children with SEND impacted by psychologist shortage


The lives of children with SEND are being negatively affected by the shortage of educational psychologists, the local government ombudsman has warned.

Disposable vapes to be banned


Disposable vapes will be banned in the UK to protect children’s health, the Government announced today.

More than 1,000 child refugees placed in adult accommodation


Child refugees arriving in the UK alone are exposed to harm and abuse in adult accommodation because of the Home Office’s flawed age assessment system, according to a new report.

The new Centre for Young Lives


Anne Longfield CBE, the chair of the Commission on Young Lives, discusses the launch of the Centre for Young Lives this month.

Abuse main driver of children’s social care demand


Domestic abuse and violence is the most prevalent category of demand for children’s social care services, a groundbreaking new study has revealed.

MPs to debate free school meals extension


MPs are set to debate the extension of the free school meals scheme today as tens of thousands of eligible disabled children miss out on extra support.

LGA calls for family hubs extension


Council bosses have called for an extension of the family hubs programme after the Government announced that all local authorities involved in the scheme offer access to a centre.

Half of teachers work with homeless children


The ‘nightmare of child homelessness’ is damaging children’s education as they suffer exhaustion, hunger and poor mental health, Shelter has warned.

Health chiefs back call for more gambling restrictions


Local health chiefs have backed a call from MPs urging the Government to do more to minimise children’s exposure to gambling advertising.

Child trafficking victim owed back payments


A child trafficking victim is entitled to back payments after the Home Office and Barnet Council left him without adequate care and support, High Court finds.

Oxfordshire publishes SEND ‘action plan’


Oxfordshire County Council has published an ‘action plan’ for improving care for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Online Safety – Time to Act


Schools still have work to do despite onus being put on online platforms to conform to new safeguarding legislation, says safeguarding expert Mark Bentley.

Cruelty to children doubles in five years


The number of reported cases of children in England being subjected to cruelty or neglect has doubled in the last five years, a children’s charity has warned.

Home Secretary acted ‘irrationally’ over National Transfer Scheme


The Home Secretary’s powers have been exercised ‘irrationally’ when it comes to the decision-making process in relation to the National Transfer Scheme (NTS), the High Court has ruled.

LGA lays bare ‘astronomical’ care costs


There has been a 1,000% rise over five years in the number of children’s social care placements that cost councils £10,000 or more a week, the Local Government Association (LGA) has found.

Plan for schools needs local government ‘at its heart’


England’s children’s services chiefs have set out a future vision to fix an ‘incoherent and fragmented’ education system.

School support staff paying for pupils’ essentials


The cost-of-living crisis is forcing school support staff to use their own money to help pay for pupils’ food and clothing, union reveals.

MPs slam ‘beyond unacceptable’ condition of schools


Thousands of children are learning in potentially unsafe buildings, with MPs ‘extremely concerned’ about the Department for Education’s understanding of the risks, a new report says.

Councils call for emergency school transport funding


‘Spiralling’ transport costs for children with special educational needs are threatening the financial stability of England’s largest councils, according to a report.

Homeless children left without care


Almost 6,500 16- and 17-year-olds presented as homeless to their local authority in England last year, according to new data.

South Gloucestershire families not getting agreed respite


Almost a third of families with children with special needs in South Gloucestershire have not been receiving sufficient respite care, an investigation has found.

One million UK children in poverty


There were 3.8 million people, including a million children, living in destitution in the UK in 2022, with state support ‘relatively absent’, a new report has found.

Families with children struggling most with living costs


Action for Children have found that one in five homes with children, a total of 1.5 million households, are struggling with ‘serious financial difficulties’.

Child poverty warning over possible benefit freeze


A freeze on working-age benefits would push 400,000 children into poverty, new research has found.

Councils 'vital' to social prescribing success


Children’s charity Barnardo’s has said local authorities are ‘vital’ to the success of social prescribing as it called for a national strategy.

Safeguarding review after 10-year-old's death


An independent safeguarding review is to begin following the death of 10-year-old Sara Sharif.

One in 20 children sleeping on the floor, survey finds


More than a million British children may be sleeping on the floor or having to share beds, a children’s charity has found.

MPs call for SEND support to tackle school absences


MPs have called for more support for pupils with special educational needs (SEND) to tackle school absences and a consistent approach to the issuing of fines.

Childcare expansion has ‘little to offer’ poorest families


The free childcare expansion continues a trend of prioritising support for working parents rather than helping low-income families, financial experts warn.

Unions call for £4bn investment in school estate


In response to the RAAC crisis, trade unions have written to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urging him to invest £4.4bn per year to improve the school estate.

Nottingham to boost SEND provision


Nottingham is set to bolster school capacity for children with additional needs as the city sees an increasing number of pupils requiring support.

Concern over Bristol schools’ app use to monitor children


Campaign groups have accused Bristol schools who use an app to monitor pupils and their families of ‘intrusive monitoring’.

‘Shockingly high’ justice system involvement among care-experienced children


A third of care-experienced children born from 1996-99 received a youth justice caution or conviction – a finding described as a ‘terrible indictment of the failure of local authorities’.

Over 900 children in Stockport receive free school meals


Over 900 children in Stockport are being provided with free school meals thanks to a council-run scheme.

Cuts see ‘children’s services run like A&E’, charities warn


Councils are spending more on crisis intervention in children’s services, a group of leading charities has warned today.

Claimants losing benefits in ‘managed migration’ to UC


More than a quarter of claimants who are required to move to universal credit (UC) have not claimed UC and have had their tax credits stopped as a result, new analysis has revealed.

Kent ‘once again’ cannot meet UAS children duties


‘Ever-escalating’ arrivals of asylum seekers and a ‘wholly inadequate’ National Transfer Scheme (NTS) have left Kent unable to meet its statutory duties in caring for children, the county council has warned.

Children referred to social services twice as likely to fail GCSEs


Children who have been referred to social care are twice as likely to fail an English or Maths GCSE than their classmates, a children’s charity has found.

Let renting childminders work from home, minister tells landlords


Children and families minister Claire Coutinho has told developers and social landlords to allow childminders to work from rented properties.

Council confirms murdered Sara Sharif was known to authorities


A 10-year-old girl who was found dead in Surrey nearly two weeks ago was known to the county council.

Complaint handling failure leaves children at risk


Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been criticised after a complaint handling failure left vulnerable children in a damp and mouldy property.

Ofsted warns against placing children in unregistered homes


Ofsted has warned councils against placing vulnerable children, including those subject to deprivation of liberty orders, in unregistered children’s homes.

Virtual school service risks becoming ‘victim of own success’


County council leaders have praised virtual schools as ‘education’s hidden asset’ but called on the Government to provide them with additional resources.

Deprivation of liberty applications surge


The number of applications seeking authorisation to deprive children of their liberty has increased following the launch of a dedicated court.

20,000 vulnerable children taught in unregistered settings


Tens of thousands of children are being taught in unregistered settings, some of which do not meet safeguarding standards and one which had a firearm on site.

Luton Council restricts advertising of unhealthy foods


Luton Council has become the latest local authority to restrict the advertising of sugary and fatty foods.

LGA: council-maintained schools outperforming academies


Schools that are still maintained by local authorities receive better Ofsted outcomes than schools that have become academies, according to new research.

Half of children saw emotional skills worsen during pandemic


The first year of the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the social and emotional skills of almost half of children, according to a new study by IFS.

‘Systematic’ housing of child refugees in hotels unlawful


Kent County Council has acted unlawfully by failing to accommodate and look after all unaccompanied children seeking asylum, the High Court has ruled.

Councils chosen for family-focussed social care trials


The Government has announced the councils that will test two new children’s social care programmes, which aim to support families through early help.

Deprivation of Liberty laws are not fit for purpose


Baljinder Bath, barrister at 4PB, argues that Deprivation of Liberty laws are not fit for purpose in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of vulnerable children.

Nearly £2bn left unclaimed in Child Trust Funds


Nearly a million young adults are missing out on an estimated £1,900 each in financial support, MPs have said.

Workforce concerns raised in social care survey


Workforce concerns in children's social care have been brought to light in a new poll, in which 20% of council social workers said they planned to leave.

Exploitation warning after Illegal Migration Bill becomes law


Unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) could be in danger of being exploited after the Illegal Migration Act created an incentive for them to run away.

London boroughs call for more powers to oversee in-year school admissions


Pupils who change schools during term-time run the risk of missing out on education because of a complex in-year admissions system, London boroughs warn.

Third of parents say school travel affected by cuts


Almost a third of parents say that their child’s school travel has been affected by funding cuts, new research has revealed.

First councils chosen to trial wraparound childcare


The Government has selected 16 councils to begin the delivery of its wraparound childcare plans for parents of primary school aged children in England.

Kent launches legal action over asylum-seeking children


Kent has issued a claim for judicial review against the home secretary, asking her to direct other councils to receive 'fair share’ of refugee children.

Council chiefs warn of nursery closures


Nine in 10 councils said they were concerned that nursery closures would undermine capacity ahead of the extension of the 30 hours free childcare scheme.

LGA: Extend food support to stop harm to children’s health


Council chiefs have called for an extension of eligibility for free school meals and an increase in the value of the healthy start voucher scheme.

Childcare payments boosted by 47%


Childcare payments to working families on universal credit are to increase from today by 47% in England, Scotland and Wales.

Council chiefs call for funding pot to fix schools


Council chiefs have called for a single funding pot to pay for upkeep of school buildings after auditors warned 700,000 pupils are in dilapidated schools.

Haringey to treble number of School Streets


Haringey councillors have signed off on a plan that will almost treble the number of School Streets in the borough to 61.

Closing council gender gap could boost output £23bn


Closing the gender employment gap in UK local authorities would increase economic output by £23bn or 1% of GDP, according to campaigners.

Charity calls for more 20mph near schools


A road safety charity has called on local authorities to implement 20mph speed limits around all schools.

'Family group conferencing' helps keep at-risk children out of care


At-risk children who take part in 'family group conferencing' meetings are much less likely to go into care, a new study has found.

‘Wild West’ vaping market affecting schools


The Children’s Commissioner has called for urgent action over the 'Wild West market' of selling vapes to under-18s.

MPs warn of 'lost decade' for disadvantaged pupils


The educational gap between disadvantaged pupils and others could take a decade to return to pre-pandemic levels, MPs warn.

Children’s doctors call for disposable e-cigarette ban


Paediatricians today called for an outright ban of disposable e-cigarettes.

Lambeth fined £6,500 after failing to fix leaky roof


Lambeth Council has been ordered to pay £6,500 in compensation after it left a family in a damp and mouldy house with a leaky roof for six years.

Review identifies ‘missed opportunities’ in Baby Acer’s death


The death of a five-month-old boy in his bouncer was part of a systemic failure of social services at Surrey County Council, review concludes.

Seven in 10 children experiencing poverty in working households


The number of children suffering poverty has shot up since support given during the COVID pandemic came to an end, according to new figures.

Record number of children at risk of exploitation


A record number of children are at risk of exploitation because families will be unable to afford activities over the holidays, Barnardo's warns.

MPs back campaign to ban handcuffing children in care


Several MPs are backing a campaign to scrap legislation that allows children in care to be handcuffed when they are transported between premises.

Two-child benefit limit failure, study says


There is no evidence that capping child benefits increases employment, a new study has found.

Crackdown on sale of vapes to children launched


A review of the rules governing the sale of vapes to under 18s could make it easier for local Trading Standards to issue fines and fixed penalty notices.

Outsourcing children’s care linked to worse outcomes


Children in care are being moved between short-term, unstable placements far away from their families because of ‘corporate takeover’ of sector, study says.

Community services for children ‘under extraordinary pressure’


Children are being put at risk as vital community services struggle to keep pace with demand, health leaders have warned.

Campaigners call for reform of pre-school childcare


Campaigners are calling for a fundamental reform of the pre-school childcare system to make sure all children benefit.

Hundreds of children in care missing school


Hundreds of children in care are missing school and not receiving any kind of education, according to new research.

Negative fostering experiences undermining recruitment


Poor communication, delays or insufficient information from fostering services are putting people off being foster parents, new research reveals.

Majority support restrictions on fast food advertising


Three-quarters of adults would like their local council to be able to restrict unhealthy food and drink advertising near schools and playgrounds, poll finds.

Union calls for information on state of school buildings


Local government union Unison has backed a Labour demand that information on the state of school buildings must be published.

Childcare provider fined record £225,000


Britain’s biggest childcare provider given record fine after mouse droppings were found in the kitchen and the children’s play areas of one of its nurseries.

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