• In Focus

    Ethnicity and child poverty

    Recent research by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has suggested that poverty can have a serious impact on a child’s life chances, and that this burden is felt disproportionately by those from certain ethnic groups. This article examines those findings, as well as recent campaigns to tackle the related issue of child food poverty.

  • In Focus

    Queen’s Speech 2021: education

    Developments in the education sector have been dominated by mitigating the impacts of Covid-19, including school and university closures. In addition, the Government has announced proposals for legislative change to strengthen freedom of speech in universities and reviews covering a number of areas, such as the regulation of children’s social care, better provision for those with special educational needs and combatting sexual abuse in schools.

  • In Focus

    Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Bill

    The Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Bill would extend the safeguarding and promotion of child welfare duties that currently apply to schools and colleges to cover all providers of publicly funded post-16 education and training. This would include 16–19 academies, institutions providing specialist educational support and independent learning providers delivering apprenticeship or T-level training. The House of Lords is scheduled to consider the bill on 19 March 2021.

  • In Focus

    Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Bill

    The Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Bill would require the Government to publish legally binding guidance requiring school authorities to consider costs when setting school uniform policies. This is in response to concerns about the high costs of school uniforms. It is a private member’s bill, introduced in the House of Commons, that is due to be considered in the House of Lords on 19 March 2021.

  • In Focus

    World Book Day—4 March 2021

    World Book Day is an annual event to promote reading for pleasure amongst children and young people. Taking place this year on Thursday 4 March, its purpose is to change lives by creating life-long reading habits, particularly amongst children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

  • In Focus

    Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee report

    The House of Lords will soon debate a report by the former Intergenerational Fairness and Provision Committee. Now dissolved, this special inquiry committee published a report on tackling intergenerational unfairness in April 2019. It alleged that the “action and inaction” of successive governments had risked undermining fairness between generations and called for improvements in six areas to tackle this: accounting for policies and data; housing; education; work; communities; and tax and benefits.

  • In Focus

    Coronavirus regulations: Apprenticeships

    In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Department for Education has said it expects to see an increase in the number of apprentices being made redundant. The Government has laid regulations which would allow apprentices who are made redundant to continue to receive funding to complete their apprenticeship through an alternative provider.

  • In Focus

    Covid-19: Impact on young people’s mental health

    The Covid-19 pandemic has had multiple effects on the lives of young people. These include worry for vulnerable family members and a change in normal routines. School closures have often exacerbated feelings of isolation and loneliness. Young people with existing mental health needs may have experienced a disruptive break in regular care as a result of the pandemic. This article examines the impact the pandemic has had on young people’s mental health, and what the Government’s response is.

  • In Focus

    Free school meals in the holidays: A permanent change?

    Children whose parents or guardians get certain benefits, and all children up to year 2, are entitled to a free school meal during term time. During the Covid-19 pandemic the Government introduced supermarket vouchers to cover the cost of a meal while the schools were closed. This scheme was extended into the Easter, May half term and summer school holidays. On 14 September 2020, Baroness D’Souza is due to ask the Government what assessment they have made of extending a programme of free meals and activities into all future school holidays.

  • In Focus

    Healthcare students: Tuition fees and student debt

    In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, it has been argued that the Government should change student finance arrangements for some healthcare students. This article focuses on this request, the Government’s response and how student finance currently works.