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Education in the media: Wednesday 13 June

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Apprenticeships, School safety, Sex and Relationship Education

Today’s education in the media blog looks at gaming and how we are addressing internet safety as well as looking at a care review and an open letter signed by Minister Milton and big businesses about the apprenticeship levy.

Gaming and internet safety

Today, 13 June, The Mirror ran a story about calls from schools who have expressed concern of the threat of addictive computer gaming to pupils.

We are working hard to give both schools and parents the support they need to for helping children cope with the challenges of the modern world. We are providing guidance to schools about the serious issue of cyberbullying and advice on tackling online harassment. Our ‘Educate Against Hate’ website provides resources that help schools and parents protect children from the risks of online extremism and radicalisation.

The government will soon be including internet safety as part of compulsory relationships and sex education classes and we will be talking to young people, parents and teachers about the best way to do this. We will look at which schools are taking a successful approach already and share best practice.

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Whist it is clear that computers and the internet can be a real force for good, they also present parents and society with new challenges. It is crucial that young people are using technology in a safe way which is why the Government’s Safer Internet Strategy will raise awareness about the risks of spending too much time online.

Schools can already teach about online safety and issues relating to gaming in both PSHE and in computing lessons, but we know there is more to do so we are looking at how best to feature internet safety in the new Relationships Education curriculum for primary and secondary schools.

Care review

On Wednesday, 13 June the Family Rights Group published a sector-led review of the care system and family justice system in England and Wales including input from more than 2,000 people. As part of the review, they made some suggestions for how the care system can be improved. The Guardian and The Times covered this report.

We want to raise the quality of social work and overhaul social worker education and practice to improve the recruitment, retention and development of social workers. We are doing this by establishing a new dedicated regulator Social Work England, and the rollout of a new National Assessment and Accreditation System to ensure children and family social workers have the knowledge and skills needed to practice effectively.

We are investing more than £250 million in our Innovation and Partners in Practice Programmes to help LAs learn from what works in order to design services that are as efficient and effective as possible, and get children and families the right help at the right time.

A Government spokesperson said:

We want every child to be in a loving, stable home that’s right for them. In most cases children are best looked after by their families and children are only removed as a last resort.Vulnerable children and families rely on the hard work of social workers, which is why we are continuing to attract high-quality recruits to the profession and setting high standards for the knowledge and skills they need. We are also rolling out a new assessment and accreditation system and establishing a new dedicated regulator so that all vulnerable children and their families get the right support.We have made more than £200 billion available to councils for local services, including children’s services, up to 2020 and we are improving children’s social care through a £200 million Innovation Programme. As the report points out, many of these projects are doing effective and innovative work with families who are at risk of breakdown.

Apprenticeship levy

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton has signed an open letter alongside 51 representatives from government, business schools, businesses and other organisations – including Sony, Airbus, Barclays, Santander, Euan Blair’s start-up WhiteHat, the Sutton Trust, the Chartered Management Institute, Aston Martin and the British Library – in support of the apprenticeship levy. This has been covered by The Times, TES and FE Week.

It states that apprenticeships can change the lives of apprentices – and the businesses they work with – for the better; and outlines why we believe that the apprenticeship levy gives employers a real opportunity to invest in training, bringing the well-recognised enthusiasm and new ideas of apprentices to their business.

You can read the letter in full here.

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