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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Supporting schools and communities to build an anti-weapon culture

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Free School Meals, Sex and Relationship Education, Social work

a blurred image of children playing in a playground wearing their school uniforms

Today our blog looks at a variety of issues including knife crime, children’s food, the ambition of young girls, and the passing of the RSE bill in the House of Lords.

Knife Crime

Today, Thursday 25 April, the Mirror published an article about the number of children found to be carrying knives in schools – the piece said this figure has risen by more than 70% in three years from 2015 to 2018.

A Government spokesperson said:

The majority of schools are safe environments for pupils and teaching staff, and it’s important they remain so. The Education Secretary has been clear that education is the best protection for vulnerable young people most at risk of being led down a dangerous path, and we must all take a united approach to protecting them.

Any form of violence in a school is completely unacceptable. That’s why we have strengthened teachers’ powers so they can take action if they suspect a pupil has brought a prohibited item, including knives, into school. To support teachers, the Home Office’s #knifefree anti-knife campaign has been distributed to all schools in England, and we are working with a range of partners including the police to produce new school security guidance and reinforce messages about a strong anti-weapon culture.

Children’s Future Food Inquiry

Today, the Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi is attending the launch of the Children’s Future Food Inquiry report in Westminster.

The report will recommend political action on child food insecurity, including setting up a children’s food watchdog.

A Government spokesperson said:

Tackling disadvantage will always be a priority for this government, and we welcome the new report from the Children’s Future Food Inquiry. Employment is at a record high and wages are outstripping inflation, but we know there’s more to do to ensure that every family has access to nutritious, healthy food.

We have already taken steps to tackle food inequality by providing free school meals and our Healthy Start Vouchers. We are also investing up to £26m in school breakfast clubs, and £9m to provide meals and activities for thousands of disadvantaged children during the summer holidays.

Girl Guide

Today, the girl’s and women’s charity Girlguiding will launch the UK’s biggest ever ‘girl-led manifesto’ called Future Girl.

Areas that Girl Guides, Brownies and Rainbows have raised as important to this manifesto include protecting the planet, equal access to sport, self-confidence, respect and ending bullying and harassment.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

In many ways there has never been a better time to grow up, but this generation also faces new or heightened pressures in their lives. That’s why we are tackling these head-on, from better mental health support in schools and lessons teaching about healthy relationships, to cracking down on bullying and introducing plans to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online.

As Education Secretary, but also as a father of two daughters, I want to see happy, confident, resilient young women making their voices heard on issues that affect them – so this manifesto is something I hope will encourage every girl to shape her own future.

RSE Passed by Lords

Yesterday, Wednesday 24 April, the House of Lords passed the new Relationships and Sex Education draft legislation. This is the latest positive step in the process to introduce new guidance for the first time in two decades.

The next step for the legislation is Royal Assent – meaning that upon approval it will be passed and ready for implementation for September 2020.

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