PlayAction: Summer 2001 - Fair Play For Children

Transcription

PlayAction: Summer 2001 - Fair Play For Children
PlayAction Summer 2001
Fair Play for Children
Major Lottery Award
Three Year Development Programme
Fair Play for Children has been awarded a three-year grant from The
Community Fund, totalling £206,039, to enable it to develop its networking
and information services throughout the country.
The award will mean that Fair Play can appoint two Development Workers, one
based in Liverpool to serve the North and one to serve the South. Additionally,
an Information Worker whose duties will include working on the Criminal
Records Bureau service which Fair Play is to introduce as part of its Child
Protection in Playwork Programme.
Fair’s Play’s National Organiser, Jan Cosgrove, who becomes full-time as part
of the grant, is delighted by the successful bid: “We have bootstrapped this
unique organisation from almost no income a few years ago to being able to
convince the Community Fund that we justify an award to take us from where
we are now - which we have achieved through a lot of hard-work and incomegeneration - to a point in three years time where we will be able to sustain our
new level of activity and service.”
The key to Fair Play’s development targets is networking amongst Fair Play’s
existing and potential membership. “The role of the development workers will
be to get ‘out there’ to take on board the support needs of those involved in
provision for children and young people. We have proven this approach with
our Child Protection in Playwork Programme and with the development of
PlayAction and of our Web Site. All three of these components were seen
from the outset to be crucial elements in the service we can offer to providers.”
The Award will also enable Fair Play to give more support to its volunteer
Network Co-ordinators - people like Ethel Swann, whose marvellous work in
the East Midlands and beyond is so appreciated by local groups. She
expressed her delight when told of the Award - it will mean her work will be
supported in terms of incidental expenses, the means to organise networking
events in her region, and the involvement of development and information
staff.
“We aim to be organising regular network events in the regions, where those
working with children can meet together to share ideas, ‘learn new tricks’, and
get support. “For many small, local projects, this simply is not happening, and
that is our main objective.” Jan’s view is that Fair Play should work actively
with other bodies such as regional play associations, area play forums and
national bodies involved in play. He is also quite certain that Fair Play will need
to respond to the pressure on providers around qualifications.
“It’s becoming clear that we are entering a phase, in the wake of Ofsted’s take
-over of registration and inspection of childcare and play projects for the under8’s, where there will be a huge demand for an answer to this need. We at Fair
Play remain deeply sceptical that the present arrangements for NVQ levels 2
and 3 can meet that need. When Ofsted starts to implement the ‘Suitable
Person’ criteria even for those working with the Over-8s this issue will jump
even more to the fore.”
Fair Play’s Chair, Tony Dronfield, is enthusiastic about the prospects for Fair
Play’s growth: “We have insisted in remaining an independent, national voice
for our children at play, and for those who work with them. This award cannot
be a signal for us to rest on our laurels. From this point, we have to ensure that
we increase our membership and our support to the field so that, in three years,
we can be certain that we can sustain our work at the new level, just as we
in this Edition ....
Mandela launches Global
Movement for Children
New Play in Childcare
Standards
Tackling Violent
Behaviour
Congo Death Threat
Disability Play Needs
Selecting Toys
plus Digest, News on Play, Publications
and of course
tHE bACK pAGE
PlayAction is the journal of Fair Play
for Children Association and Fair Play for
Children Charitable Trust Ltd (reg charity
292134), and is made possible by a partnership between Premier Promotions and the
Trust.
We thank the Contributors, all who provided
information, articles, sub-editing,
digest material, photographs etc.
Unless stated, views expressed in this journal
are not the policy of Fair Play for Children.
Articles, comments, letters etc to The Editor,
PlayAction, 35 Lyon Street, Bognor Regis
PO21 1YZ, Tel: 01243-869922,
A World Fit for Children
Mandela, Annan, Gates
Urge World to Say
Yes for Children
Unprecedented Global Campaign Seeks
Millions of Pledges
London, 26 April 2001 — An unprecedented global pledge campaign on behalf
of children, led by an impressive array of international personalities including
Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Bill Gates, began in London and numerous
other locations worldwide.
Called Say Yes for Children, the campaign will reach every part of the globe to
rally people behind ten overarching principles that seek to improve and protect
the lives of children. They are:
Leave No Child Out
Put Children First
Care for Every Child
Fight HIV/AIDS
Stop Harming and Exploiting Children
Listen to Children
Educate Every Child
Protect Children from War
Protect the Earth for Children
Fight Poverty: Invest in Children
More than a simple sign-up campaign, Say Yes will focus attention on the serious issues that face children today. It is intended to galvanize action at all levels
of society, from political leaders to ordinary citizens, in particular children.
“Here is an opportunity to let leaders throughout the world know that we expect
them to act, sooner rather than later, to ensure the rights of every child,” said
former South African President Nelson Mandela. “And to each one of you who
is hearing about this campaign, I remind you of your own power and obligation
to make the world a better place for children.”
The ten principles of Say Yes build on the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, the most ratified international human rights treaty ever, and 1990’s World
Summit for Children, where nations committed themselves to specific goals for
children and young people. The goal of Say Yes is to build a groundswell of
support that will push leaders to live up to these commitments at September’s
United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Children.
“The Special Session will indeed be a special moment in history — a time for
world leaders to commit themselves to specific actions to help the children of the
world,” said UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. “Say Yes for Children is an
opportunity for all of us to show them the way, and to give visibility and a voice
to the children who need it most.”
A London middle school will host the international launch of Say Yes for
Children, with more than 40 other events planned around the globe. Distributed
on paper and via the internet worldwide, from remote hamlets to urban centres,
the Say Yes ballot promises to gather millions of pledges.
“With Say Yes we are weaving together the newest form of communication, the
internet, with the oldest, person-to-person contact, to create a global voice for
change on behalf of children,” said the businessman and philanthropist Bill
Unthinkable
But This Is The
Reality
A Playworker Writes
UNTHINKABLE as it may seem but over four
million children in Britain live in poverty and
over a quarter of murder victims are under 16.
In a Country of affulence, where on the surface people seem privileged, examination,
however, produces some disturbing facts
about the situation of the youngest in the
population: over a third of children are living
in poverty. A quarter of murder victims are
children and the only people that physical
violence legally can be bestowed upon are
children.
Britain has the highest teenage pregnancy
rate and highest infant mortality rate in the
European Union. In addition, it also has one
of the highest child conviction rates and 75%
of the children who leave non-parental care
do so with no formal qualifications at all.
It’s been over a decade since Britain adopted the UN Convention on the Rights of the
Child, which established basic standards for
treatment and rights of children across the
world, including protecting them from oppression, discrimination and exploitation.
Yet through all the ugliness and suffering,
even the poorest of the children in Britain still
play. It is inherent to them, it is in their blood,
it is natural, as fr all children. More and more,
children are being systematically discouraged
from playing; we start to send them to preschool at the age of three, often so both parents, if living together, can work. We test
them at the age of seven, when most children
in Europe don’t start school until the age of
seven, and yet they do better in terms of gaining qualifications later on in life.
We inhibit what is the basic instinct of children - the instinct to play. Children will play
A World Fit for Children
Gates. “This is an initiative that gives people a chance to take action on the ten
points of this pledge, to ensure that children grow up in health, peace and dignity.”
The Say Yes form (found at www.gmfc.org) begins with a simple plea: “Too
many of the world’s children suffer the effects of war, poverty, sickness, discrimination or abuse. This is your opportunity to send a message to the world’s
leaders that this is unacceptable. This is your opportunity to Say Yes for
Children.” It then asks people to pledge support for all ten principles, identify the
three most pressing needs for their own country and volunteer to help with future
activities.
The ten principles were developed by the Global Movement for Children
(GMC), a broad-based coalition of organizations and individuals dedicated to
children’s rights and well-being. Founding organizations include UNICEF, PLAN
International, Save the Children, Netaid.org Foundation, World Vision and the
Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee.
The first major initiative of the Global Movement for Children, Say Yes will tally
pledges throughout the spring and summer, culminating with a presentation of
the results to heads of state and governments at the Special Session on
Children, scheduled at the UN General Assembly from September 19-21. The
ten principles of the Say Yes pledge are part of the Special Session’s draft outcome document - a critical plan of action for children over the next decade.
Celebrities Play Vital Role
World leaders, celebrities and other notables are playing a vital role in Say Yes
for Children and the Global Movement for Children. The GMC is launching a
rolling series of Public Service Announcements to broadcasters in which prominent individuals make a personal Say Yes pledge: “I believe that children everywhere should be free to grow to adulthood in health, peace and dignity.” Some
of these include Nelson Mandela and his wife, noted child rights advocate Graça
Machel, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Bill Gates, and South Korean
President Kim Dae-Jung.
everywhere and anywhere. PLAY
is not an additional something that children
do after they’ve done their homework, it is a
necessity - it SHOULD come first. It is disturbing to think that four million children live in
poverty, but the sacrifice that parents are having to make to stay out of poverty is affecting
not just the poorest of our children but all our
children.
The child who lives in poverty often has to
look after their siblings so both parents can
afford a decent standard of living, or even a
basic standard of living. Their right to play is
therefore infringed on a daily basis. The child
who lives in relative financial comfort may be
sent away to boarding school, where their
lives are so structured that PLAY comes second and not, where it should rightly be, first.
POVERTY does affect play but maybe not as
much as the attitude of society towards children as second- or third-class citizens. It is
the attitude that children and their concerns
are not important, that all that is important is
moulding them to becoming fodder for the
workplace.
Other well-known celebrities that have pledged their support for Say Yes
include:
I know what poverty is like, I have been
there - though not to the extreme of not having a meal put on the table. Regardless of
that, I had a wonderful childhood, one that
could not be bettered - I use to spend my
summer around the age of eight building
camps out of the recently bailed straw from
the field at the back of my house. I think I was
very fortunate in being able to play so much in
my childhood.
Lord Attenborough
Judy Collins
Julio Iglesias
Tetsuko Kuroyanagi
Nana Mouskouri
Vanessa Redgrave
Susan Sarandon Sir Peter Ustinov Robbie Williams
Twenty years on I am glad I am not a child,
poor or rich, growing up in this world. A world
where play is accorded such a low place by
adults. It is not healthy or normal and we will
suffer as a society in years to come. It is our
duty to ensure that this does not happen - it is
our duty to ensure that we create a world fit
for ALL children to play in. The Playworker
and the Play Project surely have a central
Harry Belafonte
Mia Farrow
Anatoly Karpov
Leon Lai
Roger Moore
Line Renaud
Mercedes Sosa
Maxim Vengerov
David Beckham
Sir Alex Ferguson
Johann Olav Koss
Rigoberta Menchu
oussou N’Dour
Sebastião Salgado
Vendela Thommessen
George Weah
What is
The Global
Movement for
Children?
Launched by Mr. Mandela and Ms. Machel in May 2000, the Global Movement
for Children has brought together some of the world’s largest child rights rganizations in a unique partnership to raise awareness of the issues facing the
world’s children in the run up to the United Nations General Assembly’s Special
Session for Children.
WE JUST LOVE GETTING
LETTERS FROM YOU [HINT]
send them - order of preference:
[email protected]
Fair Play, Freepost
Bognor Regis PO21 1BW
Tel: 01243-869922 Fax: 01243-862072
A World Fit for Children
The GMC is a coalition of organizations and individuals that share a common
vision of a world fit for children, and have the ability to turn that vision into reality. It seeks to build a massive constituency of people from all walks of life to
support child rights and demand accountability and action for children in the next
century. The GMC calls for leadership at every level of society - both public and
private, adults and young people alike - to change the world for children and with
children.
Force for Change
The Global Movement for Children is a force for change, calling for people
throughout the world to take action and protect the rights of children. We all have
a role to play — leaders and citizens, public and private organizations, children
and young people.
The core of the Movement will be adults and children, working together. It will
not be enough for adults to change the world for children — they must change
the world with children. Young people have important things to contribute, and
they must be given every opportunity to speak. The Movement realizes that the
decisions it makes will affect the lives of children. Children, therefore, must participate at every step of the decision-making processes.
The Movement is already under way: two international champions of human
rights, Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel, are heading the Leadership Initiative,
reaching out to leaders from all parts of the world and all sectors of society to
jump-start the Global Movement.
Beginning in March 2001, the Movement will be asking the world to Say Yes for
Children. Through this campaign, children and adults from around the world will
be able to speak out on ten imperative actions which must be undertaken in
order to improve the lives of children. The results of the campaign will be presented in September 2001 at the Special Session on Children, held by the
United Nations General Assembly in New York. The Movement will then take the
message of the Special Session to the world, and hold leaders accountable for
the agreements they have made.
What we demand of our leaders, we also demand of ourselves. The Global
Movement for Children calls on everyone, everywhere, to do as much as possible, in their own time and their own way, for children. Join the Movement, and
make a difference.
Our Rallying Call
In every child who comes into the world, the hopes and dreams of the human
race are born anew.
Children are the bearers of our common future - a future that is in our hands as
never before. For the world has the knowledge, the resources and the legal
imperatives to give every child the best possible start in life, in a family environment that offers the love, the care and the nurturing that children need to grow,
to learn - and to develop to the fullest.
The entire community of nations acknowledged as much when they embraced
the Convention on the Rights of the Child - and vowed, a decade ago, to fulfil
the goals of the World Summit for Children. These obligations must be met, not
only by governments, but by all of us.
Yet in this new Millennium, it is clear that more - much more - must be done if
the world is to protect the rights and meet the needs of all children.
That is why we, as citizens of every nation and members of families, communities, and civil society organizations of every kind, hereby resolve to help mobilize
a Global Movement for Children - an unstoppable crusade to end, at long last,
the poverty, ill health, violence and discrimination that have needlessly blighted
MPs URGED TO
LISTEN TO
PARENTS AND
CHILDREN
Listening to what parents and children want
is the key to making sure that policy makers
and providers of childcare get it right. A postcard campaign launched by Daycare Trust
and Unison will make sure that what is most
worrying parents and children about their
childcare will reach the very people who are
making the decisions. Parents and children
are invited to send their concerns about
childcare on the ready-made postcard to
their MPs; to the leader of their council; or to
the childcare partnership in their area.
The initiative formed part of the fourth National
Childcare Week (20-27 May 2001), organised
by Daycare Trust. Thousands of postcards
were distributed through its magazine,
Childwise, as well as through the public services union, Unison.
Stephen Burke, Director of Daycare Trust
said: “Families have seen a real investment
in childcare provision but the danger is that
planners and providers will continue to set up
new services without listening to the concerns of parents and children. These postcards provide a real opportunity to influence
decisions from the outset so that what families are saying is taken on board. Good quality affordable childcare has to remain at the
top of the Government’s agenda and getting
the right services will ensure its success.”
National Childcare Week took place 20-27
May 2001, organised by Daycare Trust with
support from UNISON, Accor Services, Unity
Trust Bank, Jigsaw, Nurseryworks, BT and
BUPA.
Daycare Trust is the national childcare charity. It promotes quality affordable childcare for
all and advises parents, providers, employers, trade unions and policymakers on childcare issues.
Daycare Trust runs a childcare helpline
for parents (020 7739 2866) from MondayFriday 10am-5pm.
For further information, contact Stephen
Burke or Megan Pacey at Daycare Trust on
020 7739 2866 (out of hours 020 8740
7877)
A World Fit for Children
and destroyed so many young lives.
Our determination is rooted in the knowledge that in furthering the best interests
of children, the most effective actions must come from within the context of our
own lives and hearts, and from listening to children and young people themselves. As members of the human family, each of us is responsible. All of us are
accountable.
Martyn Evans, Origin Communications, London tel: + 44 207 377 99 11,
Shima Islam, UNICEF Media New York, tel: +1 212 824 6949,
Corinne Woods, +1 917 640 0184
Edward Carwardine, + 41 22 209 5523
Jane Evans, +41 1980 841 020 or mobile + 44 7990 591 931
Sally Burnheim, +1 212 326 7566
Samantha Henry, + 1 212 824 6949
Ian Steele, +1 253 815 2247
Jo Fletcher, tel: + 44 207 430 01 62
FAIR PLAY FOR
CHILDREN
We
and promote
exist to
defend
THE CHILD’S RIGHT TO
PLAY.
NSPCC URGES LABOUR TO TAKE
LEAD FROM
NEW ASSEMBLIES
Pressure is on for the Government to appoint a children’s watchdog in England
following the announcement of a Children’s Commissioner by the Northern
Irish Assembly.
The NSPCC welcomes the establishment of a Children’s Commissioner for
Northern Ireland but will continue to campaign for a similar post to be created
in England and Scotland. Children’s Commissioners are needed to promote
and protect the rights of all children with wide ranging powers to investigate,
report and act when children’s rights are violated.
Mary Marsh, NSPCC Chief Executive, says: This is wonderful news, children
in Wales and Northern Ireland will now have Commissioners to stand up for
them. But child abuse does not stop at the borders. An advocate is needed for
all of the UK’s 13 million children. It would be ludicrous for the Government to
allow children a statutory champion in some parts of the UK but deny such
protection to the rest.
There are commissions to protect women, ethnic minorities and disabled
people but no such independent body to protect children. The idea has won
widespread support with more than 100 UK organisations backing the call
including the Association of Directors of Social Services, the Royal College of
Nursing and the National Confederation of Parent and Teacher Associations.
A Children’s Commissioner has been appointed in Wales and Peter Clarke
took up his post in March.
FAIR PLAY PUBLICATIONS
We have a range of Fact Sheets on play-related topics: e.g. playground
safety, equal opportunities, city farms, special needs, local play policies,
right of assembly etc. The latest are on Adventure Play, Child Protection,
Mobile Play, Consultation, and Out of School Care. We also publish packs
and guides such as
Aids and Playwork, Child Protection in a Playwork Setting etc.
For full list ask for our Publications leaflet by contacting:
Freepost, Fair Play for Children, Bognor Regis PO21 1YZ, Tel:
01243-869922, Fax 01243-862072 e-mail: [email protected]
Fair Play is a growing membership organisation.
We are able to link individuals,
organisations, local authorities
across the country.
We offer important Programmes
such as Child Protection in a
Playwork Setting, Skills
Exchange, and Freedom to Play
Also Publications, including
PlayAction, Fact Sheets etc
We lobby Government on a Fair
Deal for Our Children.
Membership details from:
Freepost, Fair Play for Children,
Bognor Regis PO21 1YZ, Tel/
fax: 01243-869922, e-mail: [email protected]
Fair Play has just about the best
Web Site on Children’s Play:
http://www.arunet.co.uk/fairplay/
ISN’T IT TIME YOU
JOINED
Fair play for
children!
Play Around
Control freaks
‘create bully victims’
Computers used
differently at home
than at school says
new report
Parents who try to exercise too much control over their
children can leave them more vulnerable to bullying, say
researchers. Research on bullying published by the young
people’s charity Young Voice claims that parenting styles
can influence whether children will become the victims
and perpetrators of bullying.
Teachers need to recognise that children are
using computers in a variety of different
ways, says ESRC-funded research. New
research has found that children are learning
to use their home computers in a totally different way from the way they use them at
school, which raises questions about current
educational thinking on ICT teaching at
school, as well as future policies aimed at
linking homes and schools through new
technology.
Bullies are more likely to come from violent homes
Bullying and violence
42% of severely bullied boys victims of violence at home
35% of severely bullied boys “beaten” at home
33% of bullies victims of violence at home
28% girl bullies experienced violence at home
This includes parents who dominate their children or who do not allow them
to take their own decisions, which can leave them without the self-confidence
necessary to resist bullying.
“Children need to learn to fight their own corner - and if children are deprived
of the experience of fighting back in the safety of their own home, it can make
them more likely to become victims,” said the charity’s executive director,
Adrienne Katz. Parenting styles can also influence the likelihood of children
becoming bullies, says the survey.
It found that bullies were more likely to come from families in which parents
did not treat their children equally and bullies were more likely to have little
respect for their parents. Both bullies and their victims were more likely to
come from homes in which corporal punishment was used and where other
more aggressive violence took place.
“Policies failing young people” Knives and baseball bats
According to the survey, 42% of severely bullied boys and a third of bullies
had been victims of violence at home. This included 35% of severely bullied
boys who said they had been “beaten” at home.
Among girls who were bullies, 28% reported that they had experience of
violence at home. The report also found that bullies were finding new ways
of intimidating their victims, such as using threatening text messages on
mobile phones. The research, which draws on three surveys and a series of
one-to-one interviews between 1996 and 2000, also claims that there are
weaknesses in how schools tackle bullying. While schools are required to
have anti-bullying policies, the survey claimed that only half of teenagers
knew that such policies existed.
Such low awareness among pupils suggested that there were bullying problems “on the ground” which were not being tackled by school policy makers.
Researchers also found that although bullying was not becoming more widespread, it was becoming more violent, with attacks escalating to using knives
and cricket and baseball bats.
Source: BBC News Online
Researchers from the Graduate School of
Education at Bristol University studied young
people to find out who has access to screenbased technologies at home and in school,
how they learned to use them, and how it
affected their lives. They questioned 855
pupils aged between nine and 14 and studied computer use within the homes of 18
families. This included making video recordings of computer use.
The researchers found that, contrary to popular belief, there are groups of young people
who are completely disinterested in using a
computer. They also found that computer
ownership is determined by socio-economic
status, with 80 per cent of children in upper
income brackets having a computer at home
compared with only 54 per cent of children in
lower income brackets. The age and quality
of the home computers is also affected by
the family’s socio-economic status. There is
evidence of an emerging digital divide
between children with computers at home
and those without. “We found 96 per cent of
children with computers at home also use a
computer outside school compared with only
54 per cent of children without a computer at
home,” says Professor Rosamund
Sutherland co-author of the report.
The researchers also found:
Many young people feel very positive about
using computers at home whereas they were
disillusioned with school ICT. Young people’s
use of computers at home does not tend to
include educational software although they
do choose to write, design and play games
for pleasure. Young people learned ‘in depth’
about their particular interests. Young people
learned by asking for help from family,
friends and by reading computer manuals,
and gained skills and knowledge that overlapped with the school curriculum.
Researchers found most of the young
Play Around
Play Good Practice
Guide launched for
Childcare Partnerships
The Department for Education and Employment in conjunction with the
Children’s Play Council have produced a very useful Guide on promoting play in
out-of school childcare, entitled ‘Good Practice for EYDC Partnerships’. The
Guide begins with a positive recognition that play has an important role to play
in developing and supporting out of school childcare.
“In developing and supporting out-of-school childcare for children up to 14 years
old, or 16 if they are disabled, your Partnership has a crucial role in promoting
children’s play. Play is a vital part of children’s lives. It is important for all children, irrespective of their physical learning or cognitive ability. “
The Guide recognizes that good play provision enriches the child’s environemnt
and that play is a vital and important part of the childs’s development, not only
physically, but also emotionally, psychologically and socially. It also recognizes
that children can not be ‘lumped together’ as one single group, that there are
differences amongst children.
“Children are not one homogeneous group and their play needs are diverse.
Your Partnership needs to be aware of the varied requirements of children of
different ages, those who are disabled or have other special educational needs,
are from different ethnic, religous and cultural backgrounds and who are particularly vulnerable as a result of, for example, social or economic disadvantage, difficult home circumstances, homelessness or immigration status. For
many of these children opportunities for play in out-of-school childcare are especaially important.”
The Guide looks at five different Partnerships and how they have put into practice good play practices in an out-of school childcare setting. The information for
the Guide was gathered through telephone inerviews and discussions. The five
Partnerships that took part were from Bath and North East Sommerset, Cornwall,
Leeds City, Oxfordshire and Westminster City. What all these Partnerships have
in common is that they recognise the importance of play in the lives and development of children and have a strong commitment to extending local play services for school aged children.
The Guide recognises that when children have ‘free time’ and the inclination,
they will play. Play is recognised as being child led. It looks at seven objectives
of good play provision. These are:
Objective 1: The provision extends the choice and control that children have
over their play, the freedom they enjoy and the satisfaction they gain from it.
Objective 2: The provision recognises the child’s need to test boundaries and
responds positively to that need.
Objective 3: The provision manages the balance beteween the need to offer
risk and the need to keep children safe from harm.
Objective 4: The provision maximises the range of play opportunities.
Objective 5: The provision fosters independence and self-esteem.
Objective 6: The priovision fosters children’s respect for others and offers
opportunities for social interaction.
Objective 7: The provision fosters the child’s well-being, healthy growth and
development, knowledge and understanding, creativity and capacity to learn.
people were very negative about their
use of computers at school because of the:
Prescriptive way in which they were told to
use them.
Lack of time for playful discovery in a school
lesson.
Relative slowness of school equipment compared to what they had at home.
Limited access to computers.
The research shows that many families now
view the purchase of a home computer as a
major financial investment in their children’s
futures, preparing them for the world of work
and supporting their educational needs.
“Families are adopting elaborate rules in
order to ensure some equality of access to
the home computer. These included taking
turns and giving priority to homework. When
there were boys and girls in the family,
parental rules were extremely important for
ensuring that girls had equal access.
However, children - especially boys - managed to subvert these rules,” says Professor
Sutherland. “Families are adjusting to allow
children to make the most of the technology.
Schools should use the findings of this
research to rethink the way they use their
computers in the classroom,” she adds.
For more information, please contact
Professor John Furlong in the School of
Social Sciences at the University of Cardiff.
Tel: 029 2087 4459
Or, Professor Rosamund Sutherland in the
Graduate School of Education at the
University of Bristol. Tel: 0117 928 7105
Or, Lilian Eldoufani, Lesley Lilley or Karen
Emerton in ESRC External Relations. Tel:
01793 413032, 413119, 413122
Play Around
The Guide whilst recognising that play is a child-led process does not exclude
playworkers from the process, rather it recognises that they have a role in providing an enriched environment which can stimulate play opportunities, and give
children the chance to participate in their own way. It also recognises that whilst
children should be able to have access to all mainstream play services, that
there may be occasions when some children prefer to play with children with
similar interests and levels of abiltiy. The Guide states that this should always
be through choice not compulsion. For instance some areas may provide specialist play services, for example children who are disabled or have special
educational or religous or cultural needs. Childre should not be forced to use
specialist provision because mainstream services are not accessible to them.
The Guide examines how the EYDC partnerships can work effectively in a stategic setting with local play services. The Guide states.
“In order to ensure that the importance of play is given due weight in Partnesrhips’
policies and plans, playworkers or play organisationas ne
ed to be actively involved in the Partnership management structure and development. For example Partnerships with an interest in promoting play can:
* Ensure play is central to strategic planning.
* Support the development of play in child care provision.
* Actively support play organisations and events.”
One of the points of the Guide is that if play is central to the strategic planning
of the Partnership then it is more likely that children’s needs will be properly met
within the childcare system. This is a welcome development and one which
seems to put play at the heart of the childcare agenda, at least on paper. For
example the Leeds Partneship feels that the role of play is so important in the
development of their out-of-school childcare that their first aim of their
Partnership constitution reads:
“...the Partnership will:
(i) Ensure the plan enhances...the care and play experience of children up to
age 14; including those with special educational needs and those with disablities
(up to the age of 16)”
The Guide recognises that playworkers have the skills necessary and that the
sub-groups responsible for the developent of out-of-school childcare, training,
recruitment and quality assurance are informed by those with the skills necessary to do so, and that play should be mentioned in the terms of reference these
sub-groups use. For instance Westminster’s Play Policy developmet has been
led by the Partnership’s Youth and Play sub-group.
The importance of recruitment of playworkers to developments posts is recognised in the Guide and that autonomy is essential to the development of play as
a central facet of childcare provision. Leed city council have created a play
development officer as a result of its play policy. The officer works closely with
the Partnership. The role of the PDO is to implement the play policy across the
city council and to advise the Partnership on play issues and the development
of new childcare places.
Those partnerships committed to promoting play and play provision see training
as one of the fundamenatal elements of quality provision. There are a number
of reasons for this. Whilst many playworkers have other qualifications in other
fields there did not exist until 1991 National playwork qualifications. This reflects
a trend towards an increasing professionalism within playwork, qualifications
can offer a sense of conifdence, meet national standards, and bring investment
into playwork.
“In response to the government’s National Childcare Strategy the Partnerships
involved in this Guide are developing a wide range of training and qualification
opportunities to meet the growing demand for playworkers. Based on local
audits, Partnerships are recognising that the drive to increase provision and
improve quality requires both a sharper and a more comprehensive focus on
training.”
PARENTS SAY
WHAT THEY WANT
NEXT FROM NATIONAL
CHILDCARE
STRATEGY
Daycare Trust launches MORI survey findings and a new report calling for children’s
centres in every neighbourhood
The childcare gap has closed substantially
since 1997. And around half of parents in
Britain think childcare provision has
improved over the last three years since the
launch of the National Childcare Strategy.
But parents say they want more affordable
childcare, more places available and more
employer support. 93% of parents say that
affordable quality childcare should be available to all children aged twelve months or
older, according to a new MORI survey
commissioned by Daycare Trust with support from Unison.
The Trust calls for children’s centres to be
set up in every neighbourhood to meet the
needs of all children and parents in a new
report, ‘All Our Futures (Thinking Big:
Childcare for All Briefing Paper No.1)’, sponsored by BT and to be launched this evening by Margaret Hodge, Minister for
Employment and Equal Opportunities, at a
reception hosted by BT.
The Government must also promote its
childcare strategy better to raise parents’
current low awareness of childcare benefits
and provision, says Daycare Trust.
Key findings from the
MORI survey include:
* 49% of all parents believe that childcare
provision has improved over the last three
years. 23% say it has not improved and
28% do not know. Mothers are more likely
to perceive an improvement than fathers
(56% compared with 42%).
* Parents say the top three improvements
they want are: more affordable provision
(43%), more places available (38%) and
more employer support with childcare
(38%).
* Parents say it is the Government that
should contribute more to the cost of childcare (60%), 41% say employers and only
16% say parents themselves.
* Awareness of many childcare initiatives is
Play Around
The responsiblity for training passed in April this year, from the Further Education
Funding Council, (FEFC), to The national Learning and Skills Council (LSC),
which will operate 47 local LSCs who will work closely with Partnerships to identify demand for childcare training in all setttings.
The Guide fully endorses the belief that playwokrers have a vital role to play in
providing a comprhensive range of services within the childcare remit. As such
it examines the skills that are necessary for playworkers to have, including the
abiltiy to involve children in planning and developing the play settings, recognising the value and importance of play in a child’s development, help create play
choices for both active and reflective play.
As from April this year Partnerships have an annual budget of £7 million, plus
over £30 million over two years from the European Social Fund, to unblock barriers to childcare training, by assisting individuals with course fees, course maaterials and supply cover including playwork training.
The Guide suggests that a Partnership can be more effective if it develops it’s
playwork training if they work with national organisations that provide training,
such as SPRITO. SPRITO is developing the National Playwork Training
Framework to support Partnerships and others who have given locally based
training programmes a high prominence. Structures are now in place for these
programmes to be endorsed to national standard by nine Regional Councils for
Education and Training in Playwork, one in each Regional Development Agency
in England. As well as this, a national Register of playwork trainers is being set
up to sit alongside these endorsed courses and the code of practice.
The Guide looks at multi-cultural play and the role it can have in breaking down
cultural barriers between different groups. Multi-cultural play can foster a climate
of tolerance and pluralism.
The National Organiser of Fair Play for Children. Jan Cosgrove, welcomed the
Guide’s publication: “With the Government’s target of 90,000 childcare workers
recruited within the next few years, such a perspective is very welcome. It will
be very crucial as to how these sentiments, written from with the Children’s Play
Council, translate to good practice at local Partnership levels. Fair Play has
always taken the view that good childcare provision has play at its heart, driven
by the child’s agenda.”
English children are less
Want to find out What’s On in
Children’s Play? Then Visit the Fair Play Web Site,
and click onto the Diary/Events
Page. This lists Conferences,
Training, Seminars, Weeks etc.
Updated regularly.
www.arunet.co.uk/fairplay/
low - only 8% of parents are aware of
Childcare Link, 16% their local children’s
information service, 22% early years development and childcare partnerships and 25%
the National Childcare Strategy. But 78% of
parents are aware of the childcare tax credit
(which provides help towards the costs of
childcare for parents on lower incomes) - up
from 23% in 1999 shortly before it was introduced.
‘All Our Futures’ assesses progress made
since the launch of the National Childcare
Strategy in May 1998. It reports that the
childcare gap has closed from one place for
every nine children under the age of eight in
1997 to one place for every seven children
in 2000. There have been substantial
increases in the number of day nurseries
and out of school clubs but a 23% fall in the
number of childminders.
The Government has pledged to create one
million new places for 1.6 million children by
2004, including 900 new neighbourhood
nurseries in the most disadvantaged communities and 100 early excellence centres.
The new report calls for children’s centres to
be set up in every neighbourhood to create
universal, comprehensive childcare services
for all children and parents who need them.
It argues for a single childcare budget to
simplify the 45 funding streams currently
available for developing childcare and a
review of financial help for parents towards
the costs of childcare.
Stephen Burke, Director of Daycare Trust,
said: “Parents are clearly beginning to
notice the improvements in childcare in this
country. But for many parents more affordable quality childcare is still a key priority.
Parents, particularly those on lower
incomes, face a daily struggle with a fragmented patchwork of provision.
“Creating children’s centres in every neighbourhood - building on the new nurseries,
early excellence centres and Sure Start programmes - would give every child and every
family the services they want and need.
Children’s centres are key to investing in our
future. They are key to building a coherent
childcare infrastructure which families can
rely on like local health and education services.”
John Steele, Group Personnel Director, BT
said: “At BT, we believe that ‘Thinking Big’
on childcare is not simply the right thing to
do but is key to the success of both our
business and society.
“Enabling parents to work in harmony with
Play Around
enthusiastic about school
than French and Danish children
A new study shows that, compared to their European counterparts, English
schoolchildren enjoy school the least, are most likely to want to leave school
as soon as they can, and feel that school gets in the way of their lives. In
contrast, Danish children were more positive about learning and teachers,
seeing the school as helping them to work with others and to fit into adult
life.
The research, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC),
was carried out by a team at the University of Bristol Graduate School of
Education in collaboration with two researchers in France and Denmark. It
shows how three very different European educational systems are responding
in quite different ways to the need to produce young people who are flexible
lifelong learners. The team studied the educational experience, attitudes to
schooling and approaches to learning of 13-and 15-year-old school children
in England, France and Denmark. The 1,800 second-year secondary school
children in the study came from a cross section of comprehensive schools in
each country.
Dr Marilyn Osborn, who directed the research, explains: “These differences
are largely a reflection of different approaches to education in the three countries.” Danish schools are concerned with the development of the ‘whole child’
with pastoral care being a key part of the teacher’s role. There is also a strong
emphasis on participatory democracy and lessons in citizenship. “As a result,
Danish pupils like their teachers, are interested in building friendly relationships and they feel they can be successful,” she adds.
French schools, on the other hand, have a much stronger emphasis on academic objectives and pastoral care is often left to outside agencies. Teachers
maintain a professional distance from parents and concentrate mainly on
ensuring they get as many pupils as possible to the correct level for the following year.
In England, teachers theoretically have pastoral responsibilities as well as
responsibilities for certain subjects. However, in an attempt to raise standards
this role appears to be changing with a greater emphasis on a learning support role. “There is now relatively little time to explore pupils’ personal concerns or to build up relationships,” say the researchers. On a more positive
note, English schoolchildren also believe that school is a place where they
can express their own ideas and opinions.
The English experience shows that pupils are more concerned with their
social identities than their academic achievement. “They fall into three main
groups. Those that work hard, known as ‘boffins’, ‘swots’ or ‘keeners’, those
that mess around in class, and those that do both. These social groupings
tend to dominate children’s experience at school and a lot of pupils’ energy
goes into balancing achievement against getting on with their peers,” says Dr
Osborn. In contrast, the French and Danish approaches lead children to feel
that they share a sense of commonality with other pupils regardless of their
social background or attainment level.
“It is clear from the research that in spite of the many pressures to bring
European education systems closer together, the national culture and educational traditions of these three countries create significant differences in pupils
relationships with both their schools and their teachers,” says Dr Osborn.
For more information, contact Dr Marilyn Osborn, University of Bristol,
Graduate School of Education, 35 Berkeley Square, Bristol BS8 1JA, Tel:
0117 928 9000 or Lilian El-Doufani or Lesley Lilley in ESRC External
their parenting responsibilities is essential if we are to continue to
attract, recruit and retain the best. We want
to be at the heart of a society in which
access to lifelong learning and employment
is the norm for everyone and believe that a
cohesive childcare strategy is a vital ingredient in achieving this. We are consequently
delighted to sponsor this important initiative.”
Dave Prentis, General Secretary of Unison,
said: “Organising childcare is a major headache for working parents - not just preschool care, but wrap-around and holiday
care for school children. That is why Unison
is pleased to team up with Daycare Trust in
sponsoring this poll, to help parents make
their voices heard.
“The message is clear - parents welcome
the initiatives introduced by this
Government, but more needs to be done.
We need to increase the supply of high
quality childcare, provided by well trained,
decently paid childcare workers.
“Parents know you can’t get quality on the
cheap, but childcare has to be affordable,
and that means it has to be subsidised from
the public purse and by employers.”
For further information, contact Stephen
Burke or Megan Pacey at Daycare Trust on
020 7840 3350 (out of hours 020 8740
7877).
Play Around
Sweet
Discourse?
More on the Nestle Debate
I would like to comment on the letters in the New Year PlayAction. I have been
a playworker for 30 years and a breastfeeding counsellor for 25 years. I have
also been a member of Baby Milk Action.
With regard to Kids Clubs Network’s comments I notice that the actual issue
has not been addressed. Liz Ketch says that she is ‘sorry that some people think
we shouldn’t accept money from commercial organizations ...’. Surely she
misses the point. It isn’t the commercialism of Nestle people globally object to,
but their practices within the third world.
Peter Heseltine is worried about taking a moral stance. Easy he says from a
Western standpoint. But it needs to be said that the West needs to take responsibility for the practices of Western companies in underdeveloped countries.
Babymilk action and other international groups like IBFAN have thousands and
thousands of case studies to evidence that millions of babies are dying due to
the aggressive selling of breastmilk substitutes in underdeveloped countries by
companies like Nestle. I am not suprised that IPA members from Africa and
South America only see the good face of Nestle as they do indeed donate clinic
buildings etc to third world countries. It is the effects of giving mothers who do
not need it, FREE samples, and who do not have the language, and resources
to use it safely, nor the money to afford to buy it, and who then have their own
abilities to breastfeed undermined who are the victims. Of course these are
often the poorer, less educated people who do not have a voice.
Commercial companies DO NOT give money unless they are going to get something back - in this case it is an advertising campaign aimed at increasing sales
of breastmilk substitute in under developed countries due to the decrease in
bottlefeeding in the west. New Markets in other words. Of course we have a
moral duty to speak out about this. When poor (economically) mothers are
shown pictures of bouncing, healthy western babies and on the strength of
them, are persuaded and convinced that their own milk is inadequate - that IS
our responsibility.
It is a form of emotional blackmail and can be equated with drug companies
paying for hospitals in this country. Except that for the mothers and babies it is
devastating. It must also be remembered that breastfeeding is not only optimum
nutrition even in times of famine, but has a natural contraceptive effect. By
undermining a mothers ability to breastfeed her baby it increases
her chances of becoming more regularly pregnant therefore also affecting population expansion which puts even more strain on inadequate resources. Of
course if the worlds resources were equally shared that might paint a different
picture......!?!
The issue is one of the most important issues of the late 20th & early 21st centuries. Why else would the campaign to boycott Nestle be supported by UNICEf
and the World Health Organization. I feel very strongly about this issue - so
much so I have been a member of the boycott since the 70s, never buy Nestle
or subsidiary company products, and will have nothing to do with anything sponsored by Nestle. When an organization I worked for was considering asking for
sponsorship from Nestle I said I was prepared to resign if this happened. The
issue is far from trivial and will not go away so long as babies are dying for
profit.
Lynne Emmerson
Home email: [email protected]
These views are my private views and not necessarily those of KIDS as a
whole.
CHILD
PROTECTION IN
A PLAYWORK
SETTING
Fair Play’s Programme aimed
at raising awareness, improving procedures and good
practice in play organisations,
after-school clubs, sports organisations, arts projects, youth
groups, nurseries
Pack, same title: 60 pages with
advice about policy formation,
checks (police and others), what
to do if ..., with examples,
appendices, reading lists, more
contacts, checklist: £10 [£7
Members]
Police Checks Service, contracted Voluntary Member organisations only
Advisory and Information
Service, free
Training Events, Joint Training
ventures etc (costs negotiable)
Model Child Protection Policy
- now published
Fact Sheet now avilable and at
our Web Site
Freepost, Fair Play for Children,
Bognor Regis PO21 1YZ,
Tel: 01243-869922, Fax: 862072
e-mail: [email protected]
CHILDHOOD UNDER
THREAT
CONDEMNED TO DEATH
Intervention Requested
The International Secretariat of OMCT is very concerned about the death penalty to which 4 children were condemned by the Military Court (COM, Cour
d’Ordre Militaire) of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Military Court is an
exceptional court from which no appeal is possible. In each of these cases the
trials have allegedly been carried out summarily.
Case COD 270401.CC CHILD CONCERN
Brief description of the situation According to the Comité des Observateurs des
droits de l’Homme (CODHO), a member of OMCT, the convicted children are:
1. Diyavanga Nkuyu, born on 15 March 1984, arrested on 25 February 1999
and convicted in May 1999 for criminal association;
2. Mbumba Ilunga, born on 26 January 1984, arrested on 13 September 2000
and convinted on 11 October 2000 for involuntary murder;
3. Mwati Kabwe, born on 15 May 1984, arrested on 2 September 2000 and
convicted on 10 October 2000 for involuntary murder;
4. Bosey Jean-Louis, born on 25 May 1984, arrested on 2 June 1999 and convicted on 2 July 1999 for involuntary murder.
According to the information received, all these children were convicted as soldiers at the time of the facts. They are currently awaiting the execution of their
sentences in the ex Makala central prison in Kinshasa.
Summary of the judicial procedure: The Congolese military penal code subjects every soldier, including those under 18 years old, to the competence of the
armed forces jurisdiction and to punishments stipulated by military law.
Furthermore, the international secretariat of OMCT recalls that, according to the
Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the DRC, the COM has
been widely criticised for its failure to satisfy the conditions of independence and
of impartiality in its judgements. The COM exercises prerogative powers that are
incompatible with international norms on the administration of justice. In particular, its statutes do not allow any form of appeal.
Action requested: Please write to the authorities in the Democratic Republic of
Congo urging them to:
i. immediately repeal the death sentences passed on each child, in conformity
with their international obligation established art. 6, paragraph 5 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and reiterated in article 37 of
the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;
ii. ensure that the children sentenced to death have the right to appeal the
sentence before a competent, independent and impartial authority or judicial
body, according to article 40, paragraph 2 of the Convention on the Rights of the
Child;
iii.amend the Congolese legislation as a matter of priority in order to abolish
the death penalty for children under 18 years of age;
iv. ensure the competence, independence and impartiality of the COM as well
as the fairness of its procedures, according to article 14 paragraph 1 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as article 40, paragraph 2 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child;
v. recognize the necessity for every child to be judged by judges with a special
training in juvenile justice;
vi. guarantee the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights
standards and, in particular, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Addresses:
President Joseph Kabila. Présidence de la République, Kinshasa-Ngaliema,
République Démocratique du Congo. Fax (+ 243) 880 02 120
Minister of Justice, Ministère de la Justice, BP 3137, Kinshasa Gombé,
République Démocratique du Congo. Fax : (+243) 880 55 21
Minister of Human Rights, Ministre des droits humains, Fax : (+243) 12 20
664
Please also write to the embassies of Democratic Republic of Congo in your
respective country. Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code
of this appeal in your reply. Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT)
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) Organización Mundial Contra la
Tortura (OMCT) 8 rue du Vieux-Billard Case postale 21 CH-1211 Geneve 8
Suisse/Switzerland Tel. : 0041 22 809 49 39, Fax : 0041 22 809 49 29, E-mail :
PARENTS PICK UP
THE TAB AS
CHILDCARE COSTS
SPIRAL CLOSE TO
£6000 A YEAR FOR
JUST ONE TWO YEAR
OLD
British parents’ childcare bills have reached
record heights. According to a national survey published February 2001, a typical fulltime nursery place for a two year old now
costs over £110 a week - more than £5,700 a
year and more than the average family with
two children spends on housing or food.
Regional variations mean that in some parts
of the country - particularly London and the
south east - the cost of a typical nursery place
rises to £135 a week (over £7000 a year) with
some parents paying much more.
The survey also highlights typical costs for a
childminder looking after a two year old almost £90 a week nationally, still over £4,500
a year. For many parents, childminders are
seen as a more flexible and affordable option
than a nursery.
Of the help paying for childcare available to
parents, the most important is the childcare
tax credit. Parents on lower incomes (up to
£22,000 for one child, £30,000 for two children) can get help towards childcare costs
through the childcare tax credit in Working
Families Tax Credit.
Childcare tax credit contributes a maximum of
£70 for one child and £105 for two children
per week towards childcare costs. 124,000
families are currently gaining an average
award per week of £33.48 towards childcare
costs.
Very few parents - less than 5% according to
a MORI survey - get help from their employers towards childcare costs. Some receive
childcare vouchers which are exempt from
National Insurance while others get tax relief
on employer provided childcare.
Stephen Burke, Director of Daycare Trust,
said: “This survey shows the sacrifices some
parents are making to ensure that their child
has access to quality childcare. But for many
other parents, the cost of childcare is simply
beyond their reach.
“More families need to know about the childcare tax credit and how it can help them with
Play Around
Playground Difficulties Faced
by Special Needs Children
A recent letter to Fair Play from FOSNEC, Friends Of Special Needs Children
has highlighted the difficulties faced by children with disabilities in being integrated fully into the play environment. The debate was re-opened on a local
level by a newspaper based in Torquay, the Herald Express. The paper began
a campaign for a change in the law to force developers and local authorities to
provide play equipment for disabled children in parks and playgrounds. Results
of this campaign are already being seen. Paignton Zoo have responded to the
call and are promising to install equipment for disabled children. The pledge
came after the Zoo’s administration manager, Chris Wreford-Brown toured the
site with special needs campaigner Ann Williams. “It was interesting to be
shown the situation from a disabled child’s point of view”, he said out after the
tour.
The Zoo plans to expand it’s facilities to allow disabled children more access.
However this is only one such facility and we have to ask are other organisations
willing, or even financially able to put such measures into practice. This is not
to suggest that disabled children do not have the same right to play as other
children. Far from it - time and time again we have seen lip service paid to the
concept of integrating disabled children into the play environment but no results.
Playgrounds and parks remain out of bounds mostly to disabled children, often
as a result of design and structure, flowing from a lack of consultation with children. Too often play areas are designed with adult aesthetics in mind and not
the practical use of the main core group who will be using it, children.
Ann William’s in a bid to change the law sought a 15 minute audience with the
Prime Minister, Tony Blair. She wasn’t able to get one. Instead a very official but
polite letter was sent back explaining that due to commitments it would be
“impossible to do so”, and informing her that a Special Educational Needs and
Disability Bill is being passed through Parliament which will make it unlawful for
Schools and local Education Authorities to discriminate against disabled pupils
who by treating them less favourably than those without disabilities . “Schools
will also have to consider what reasonable adjustments they should make where
disabled pupils are placed at a significant disadvantage, in their access to educational services, by comparison to pupils who are not disabled. This would
include all aspects of the life of the school, including play times.”
The Bill will also place a duty on LEA’s and schools to plan to increase accessibility to all areas of the school premises. In the case of play areas, whether
designing new ones, or upgrading and refurbishing existing ones, the Government
expects LEA’s and schools to plan for the inclusion of disabled pupils wherever
possible. Of course children do not simply play when they are at school, they
play outside of school as well, and since increasingly many schools are locked
up out of school hours, due to lack of funding, vandalism and fear of crime, it
does seem to do very little to help disabled children. No emphasis it seems is
being made at a statutory level to provide for the needs of disabled children..
Many good play projects will seek to accommodate disabled children but with
resources limited it is not always easy. What is needed is legislation and funding
which would compel local authorities to install play equipment which can be
accessed by both able bodied and disabled children. This would mean a radical
rethink into how play grounds and other public spaces used by children are
designed of course it would also require an injection of local and national capital
for this to happen. The current situation as it is, is simply unfair and untenable.
Play is about inclusion, not exclusion. Inclusion is at the heart of all good play
practice and provision, exclusion is not.
Fair Play for Children welcomes this campaign and calls for more action in
including all children in play, whehter they are able bodied or not. This would
mean a radical re-think by many local authorities and private contractors when
it comes to planning and designing play areas and equipment, the sentiments
are good from many but is the will and money there to put these into practice.
childcare costs. More than three times
as many families are getting help with childcare costs than previously but many more
could get help.
“The ceilings in childcare tax credit also need
to be reviewed - currently only £100 a week
childcare costs can be taken into account for
one child so the maximum award is limited to
£70 a week.
“It is critical that parents on lower incomes
can afford the cost of a typical nursery which
clearly now exceeds the childcare tax credit
ceiling. More help is needed to enable all
parents and children to share in the benefits
of childcare. The geographical lottery in childcare prices means parents in London and the
south east particularly benefit least from
childcare tax credit and the ceiling should be
raised or removed completely.
“The survey also highlights that employers
should do more to help working parents with
childcare costs. At a time when we are close
to full employment in many parts of the country, it is in the best business interests of
employers to be competitive in recruiting and
retaining the best staff.”
CHILDCARE COSTS IN ENGLAND 2001
Typical weekly costs for a two year old in a
full-time childcare place
nursery
childminder
£
£
INNER LONDON 134.86
109.61
OUTER LONDON
130.19
103.53
SOUTH WEST
115
90
SOUTH EAST
121.20
98.97
EAST OF ENGLAND
113
89.80
WEST MIDLANDS
100.66
80.62
EAST MIDLANDS
99.71
81.42
YORKS AND HUMBER
102.36
85.64
NORTH WEST
97.35
73.44
NORTH EAST
90.62
75.72
NATIONAL
110.49
88.87
These regional averages are based on a telephone survey of 120 Children’s Information
Services during January 2001. The survey
Play Around
OFSTED Open Access
Standards Victory
The Ofsted National Standards for Under Eights Day Care and Childminding
have been published by the DfEE. They apply to new childcare providers who
apply for registration after 2nd July 2001 and to all existing providers as from
1st September.
There are 14 National Standards - see last edition of PlayAction - and these
apply to 5 different types of childcare provision: full daycare, sessional day
care, creches, out-of-school care, and childminders. Each type of provision
has its own published criteria, and these include: ‘suitable person’ issues,
qualifications, training, staff-child ratios, space requirements, first aid, health,
transport, activities etc.
The original draft standards omitted quite specifically Open Access provision there had been a halfway house acknowledgement of Open Access issues in
the Department of Health advice on the original Children Act registration
requirements. With the transfer to Ofsted of all registration and inspection, it
became clear that this anomaly was to be tackled simply by ignoring Open
Access, effectively de-registering such provision. [Open Access = provision
where children come and go as they wish, which applies to a large proportion
of play activity for 5-15 year olds in this country.]
The Do’s and
Don’ts of Toy
Selection
Guidelines for choosing toys that
encourage healthy play.
Look for toys that
Can be used in a variety of ways
Promote creativity and problem solving
by letting children decide what to do
Can be enjoyed at different ages and
developmental stages, growing with the
child
Will continue to be fun and engaging over
time
Can be used with other toys for changing
and more complex play
However, a major campaign by a phalanxe of play organisations, national and
local, appears to have born fruit as the new Standards for Out-of-School contain
‘Alternative Criteria’ relating to Organisational, Physical Environment, Safety
and other issues. For example, staffing ratios are set at 1:13 for ages 5-7 years
(as opposed to normal Out-of-School ratio of 1:8). The issue of recording attendance makes provision for parents having to give written permission. The
standard concerning minimum space provision is waived as is that concerning
collection of children by parents/carers.
Promote respectful, nonstereotyped, nonviolent interactions among children
However, most of the Out-of-School criteria do apply to Open Access and Fair
Play’s view is that this must be a welcome and sensible re-appraisal by the
DfEE and Ofsted. Ken McCormick, Fair Play’s Vice-Chair: “We were worried
that deregulation would lead to ‘cowboy schemes’ but it does seem that a real
effort has been made to take on concerns from the play world. There are omissions, but this is a good starting point and an improvement on the original 1989
Children Act position.”
Encourage everyone to play the same
way and use them in a single way defined by
the toy designer
One major failure of the whole review process has been to extend registration
anbd inspection requirements to cover activities run for children in the 8-15
years age range. As many schemes in fact cater for 5-12/15 year olds, especially Open Access, this new provision still does not make sense. Ken: “Fair
Play must continue to fight for this to change.”
There is, however, a sting in the tail of the new Part XA of the Children Act (this
is the part which replaces the old Part X, transferring registration from diverse
local authority social services arrangements to consistent national Ofsted standards). Right at the end of Part XA is a little clause which says that powers are
available to the Chief Inspector of Ofsted to require all those working with children aged 8 years and over to have ‘Certificates of Suitability’. The types of
activity covered are those where the activity would have been registered if there
were children aged under 8 years present.
What will the Certificate cover? We are not certain as yet, but criminal records,
Protection of Children Act and other checks will certainly be part, as will qualification. Jan Cosgrove, National Organiser of Fair Play: “Again, although
this is not what we asked for, it is an interesting response to a clear need. This
will implement government pledges and go some distance towards answering
the issues raised by Dunblane and Thomas Hamilton. Obviously, Fair Play will
be actively working to support our members and the field in meeting these new
challenges.”
Will add a new dimension to play beyond
a child’s current toys
Avoid toys that
Can only be used in one way
Appeal primarily to a single age or developmental stage
Will probably sit on a shelf after the first
fun half hour
Will channel children into imitating scripts
they see on TV or movie screens
Do special high-tech actions for the child
instead of encouraging the child’s exploration
and mastery
Lure children into watching television or
other media that is linked to the toy
Encourage violence and stereotypes that
can lead to disrespectful and aggressive
interactions
Adapted with permission from the
T.R.U.C.E. Toy Action Guide (Teachers
Resisting
Unhealthy
Children’s
Entertainment), P.O. Box 441261, West
Somerville, MA 02144, USA.
Play Safe
A Safer
Place
Employee Checklist Combating Violence
Against Social Care Staff
Department of Health
Violence, threats and abuse to staff are unacceptable. This includes sexual and racial harassment, and threats to family and
property. Violence and abuse are NOT part of the job. Managing violence,
threats and abuse is the responsibility of both the employer and employee.
Organisations, managers, employees and service users working together provide the best means to safer practice.
Your EMPLOYER
has the primary responsibility
It includes providing you with:
A statement of the organisation’s policy that clearly sets out a code of practice that fits your job and where you work
Clear assessments of the risk to you from the individuals, families and
groups you work with
Clear procedures about what to do when you think there is a risk, what to do
after an incident, and what follow-up there will be
Training that fits your job, including what responsibilities you have towards
colleagues and to service users
A working environment that maximises your safety
Support in dealing with your concerns about threats, abuse and violence
Procedures for making sure precautions are working and can be
reviewed
Easily available support after an incident that fits what you and others who
were involved need to recover from the experience.
The Task Force has provided a Self-audit Tool for employers that you can find
on our website at www.doh.gov.uk/violencetask force. It provides a checklist for
employers on their policies and includes procedures for safe working.
But you have responsibilities too
Familiarise yourself with
Your organisation’s procedures including those for when you are working
away from your base or with colleagues from other organisations
What triggers violence and abuse, so that you are prepared to cope with
violence and abuse that may occur in your job: your employer should have told
you about this
The procedures for raising any concerns you have with colleagues and
managers: your employer should have these procedures.
Be prepared
Publications
and resources:
Art of Minds - mobile childcare services.
Provide training workshops and consultancy
areas for childcare organisations. For more
information write to: Art of Minds: Mobile
Childcare Services Freepost MID 17164 PO
BOX 7691. Birmingham B23 7BR, or
Freephone 0800 0565626, or 0961 85 71 29,
or e-mail [email protected] www.
artofminds.com
Gizmo Resources. Provide a comprehensive guide to ensure best quality and equality
in recruitment and selection for playwork services. They have published a guide entitled
‘Recruitment and Selection A Good Practice
Guide.’ The cost is £90, they have also produced a trainers pack for S/NVQ assesors at
a cost of £155. They have also produced
software for S/NVQ assesors called CATS.
For more information plase write to Gizmo
Resources PO BOX 447, Bradford BD1
5XG, or tel: 01274 739113, or fax: 01274
777248. Their web address is www.gizmo.co.
uk, or e-mail [email protected]
Islington Play Association. Have produced a video entitled: The Playwork
Option. Introducing Playwork As A
Profession. This video is 29 minutes long
and is presented by Gordon Kennedy. The
cost is £12.00. For more information write to
Islington Play Association, West Library,
Bridgman Road, London N1 1BD. Tel 020
7607 9637, or order via e-mail at [email protected]
islingtonplay.demon.co.uk
Harcourt Publishers. Have published a
guide entitled ‘Physical Signs Of Child
Abuse, 2nd Edition. A colour Atlas.’ This
is a guide showing forms of physical child
abuse, and is of particular interest to
Paeatricians. The guide is written by Dr
Chirstohper Hobbs, Consultant Community
Paediatrician, Department of Community
Paediatrics, St Jame’s University Hospital,
Leeds, UK. Dr Jane Wynne, Conultant
Paediatrician, Department of Paediatrics,
Leeds General Infirmary, UK. The cost is
£67.00. For more information or to order,
please write to Harcourt Publishers Ltd,
Foots, Cray High Street, Sidcup, Kent DA14
5HP. Tel: +44 (0) 20 8308 5760, fax: +44 (0)
20 8308 5702, or email: [email protected]
com
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation and
The National Children’s Bureau. Have
Play Safe
When you think there is a risk, to discuss your concerns with colleagues and
managers
To gather as much information as possible about threatening service users
and share it with colleagues and managers
To do training that promotes safer practice.
Use your employer’s risk assessment procedures and keep re-assessing
the risk of violence by asking questions such as:
Is there a history of violence?
How might the service user/s interpret what you are doing, eg is the service
user frightened, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
Are you limiting the choice of the service user/s, or removing or restricting
their freedom or removing their children?
Are you saying ‘no’ to something they want to do or have that they think will
make a big difference to them?
Are you sharing information about service users and carers with colleagues to help keep them safe?
Are you recording thoroughly what the assessment is and the plan for
managing the risks?
Are you reviewing and regularly re-assessing the risks with your manager?
Plan what you and others will do.
The plan should: result from discussions with your managers and colleagues,
including those outside your organisation where they are, or may become,
involved include, whenever possible, service users and carers in the planning
have a strategy for coping with an incident where there is a known risk, covering
for example:
- your organisation’s contact arrangements
- a safe place to meet
- who to involve
- ways of responding to violence, particularly the response to physical contact
and what you think is a safe distance
- any equipment you may need (mobile phone/attack alarm)
- an exit strategy for you and others who may be at risk
- recognise that safe practice is good for workers and for service users.
Be prepared for the rare, unpredictable and
unexpected incident
Your employer should have procedures, reliable ways of implementing them,
and of making any changes necessary. Your employer should tell you about
them and you should familiarise yourself with these procedures and remind
yourself of them from time to time. Preparation is never wasted.
Ways to reduce risk include:
Managers who take responsibility at all times to provide easy access to
adequate technology (alarms, panic buttons etc), coupled with the necessary
procedures to adopt if the alarm is sounded
Workers who are skilled in their work and have a confident, calm, professional approach that demonstrates understanding and respect service users
and carers who are:
- well informed and given information that is jargon-free
- respected for their experience, expertise, history and culture
- involved in planning safe practice, environments and training
Good, detailed records and ensuring that colleagues (within and outside
your organisation) are kept aware of incidents and risks - think about colleagues who will follow on from you
Knowing signs that indicate a service user may become violent, such as
shouting, agitation, confusion, signs of alcohol or drug abuse, and knowing
ways that might reduce their anxiety, distress or anger
Workers who know the procedures and how to use them when a situation
published two new books entitled
‘More than the sum of it’s parts. A study of
a multi-agency child care network.’ Written
by Valerie Wigfall and Peter Moss. Also,
‘Listening to Young Children, The Mosaic
Approach.’. Written by Alison Clark and
Peter Moss. The cost for both is £11.95, or
£8.95, for NCB members. For more information or to order, please write to: Book
sales, National Children’s Bureau, 8 Wakely
Street, London EC1V 7QE. Tel: 020 7843
6028/29. Fax: 020 7843 6087. E-mail: [email protected] Or visit their website at
www.ncb.org.uk
Gizmo Publications. Have published a
guide entitled ‘Children and the law: 0-18
years, the cost is £9.00, for more information
or to order please write to, Gizmo Resources
PO BOX 447, Bradford BD1 5XG, or tel:
01274 739113, or fax: 01274 777248. Their
web address is www.gizmo.co.uk
SPRITO. Have Pubished a guide entitled
‘Recruitment, Training and Qualifications
in Playwork.’, for more information or to
order at a cost of £1.00 please write to
SPRITO, SPRITO playwork unit, 24
Stephenson Way, London NW1 2HD, or visit
their website at www.playwork.org.uk
Kidsactive. Have publishe a gudie entitled
‘Side by Side, guidleines for Inclusive Play.
The cost is £15.00 for Stautory/Commerical,
and £10.00 voluntary/individual. For more
information or to order, please write to KTIS,
Kidsactive, Pryor’s Bank, Bishop’s Park,
London SW6 3LA. Or tel: 020 7731 1435, or
fax: 020 7731 4426, minicom: 020 7384
2596. Or e-mail: [email protected]
NCVCCO. Have published a giuide entitled
‘Whistleblowing. This is a policy park for
those who wish to whistleblow under the
Public Disclosure Act (PIDA), and is produced in conjnction with the Nuffield
Foundation. The cost is 120.50, inclding
Postage and Packing. For more information
please write to Public Concern at Work,
Suite 306, 16 Baldwins Green, London
EC1N 7RJ. Tel: 020 7404 6609, or Fax: 020
7404 6576.
Gizmo Resources. Have Produced a
guide, entitled ‘D Numbers Manual Generic.’
This is a guide for those involoved in the
playwork assesement field. The cost is
£18.00, for more information or to order
please write to Gizmo Resources PO BOX
447, Bradford BD1 5XG, or tel: 01274
739113, or fax: 01274 777248. Their web
address is www.gizmo.co.uk
The Childrens Legal Centre. Have
Play Safe
gets out of control, including finding a way to leave reviewing incidents, re-planning for the future
Systems to check that learning from incidents is used
support that staff feel confident to use.
After an incident
What your organisation should do. It should:
Put the procedures into action and provide immediate support for you
Take responsibility for supporting anyone else involved
Discuss with you:
- the sort of support you need to recover from the incident (we all differ in our reactions to incidents and so does the support)
- who else, if anyone, needs to be informed to keep them safe
- your experience, and that of others involved including service users and carers,
of the way the procedures worked and what might need to be changed
- the lessons for you, your colleagues, the organisation,
- and any other organisations involved
- what will be done and how progress will be checked
Re-assess and make any changes needed in procedures and support provided to reduce violence and abuse.
What you should do
You should:
Be prepared: be familiar with and use the organisation’s procedures
Know where you can get immediate support for yourself. It is your employer’s
responsibility to get support for others involved
Don’t be surprised if your reactions or other people’s are different from what
you expected, and be tolerant of your own and others’ immediate reactions
Take care of yourself and contact people who will offer the support you need
As soon as possible, record details of the perpetrator/s and the events and
expect debriefing sessions for yourself and the perpetrator/s
Record and report the incident to your employer
Remember nothing will change for the better unless incidents are reported.
Safe practice is part of good practice
f you want to know more about our report, and the evidence we have used to
produce this checklist, please ask your employer or see our website at www.doh.
gov.uk!violencetaskforce. The Task Force defines violence to workers as:
‘Incidents where persons are abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances
relating to their work, involving an explicit or implicit challenge to their safety, wellbeing or health. This definition is taken to include verbal abuse or threat, threatening behaviour, any assault (and any apprehension of unlawful violence), and
serious or persistent harassment, including racial or sexual harassment, and
extends from what may seem to be minor incidents to serious assault and murder,
CURFEW WATCH - Fair Play will be
keeping careful watch on the way in which any local
youth curfews are implemented. You can help by
keeping us informed! Phone Fair Play on
01243-869922, Fax on 01243-862072 or e-mail to: fair-
released a number of Publications.
‘How can I complain? Making a claim to
the Social Services Department’ cost £3.00.
A step by step guide covering formal and
informal complaints.
‘Between the Reports: New Labour in
Office. Cost £4.00, looking at how the law
has affected children and young people
under New Labour with regard to the UN
Convention on the Rights of the Child.
‘Taking your Case to Court. Parental
Responsibility, residence and contact
orders. Cost £4.95. A giude on how to apply
for a contact or residence order in the
courts.
‘Bullying: A guide to the Law [2nd
Edition]’, cost £4.95, or 2.50 for children.
Provides a step by step guide to tackling bullying.
To order or for more information please contact the Children’s Legal Centre, University
of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4
3SQ. Tel: 01206 872466, fax: 01206 874026,
or visit their website at: http//:www2.essex.
ac.uk/ckc/, or e-mail: [email protected]
ROSPA. Have procuced a booklet entitled
‘Safety Reccomendations for Recreational
Facilities for Young People’, this looks at
aspects of what is considered safe when
providing a recreational area that will be
used by young people. For more Information
or to order please contact ROSPA, Edbaston
Park, 353 Bristol Road, Birmingham B5 7ST,
or tel: 01480 411384.
ROSPA. Have Published A booklet. Entitled,
‘Maintaining Play Facilites in Commercial
Premises. For more Information or to Order,
please contact ROSPA, Edbaston Park, 353
Bristol Road, Birmingham B5 7ST, or tel:
01480 411384.
Maam Children’s Playscheme can supply a
video of their 2000 summer holiday scheme
for 5-14 year olds (lasting approx. 30 mins.).
The video was produced professionally by
The Nerve Centre (the Oscar-nominated
multi-media community arts centre in Derry).
It includes information on the value of play
and different examples of children at play, as
well as two short films made by the children
themselves. The video costs £15 (fifteen
pounds - includes p&p) and is available from
Maam Children’s Playscheme, MAAM, Co
Galway, Ireland (mailto: [email protected]).
PlayShare . . . cooperative activities, games
and training Ireland: The Old School,
Kilmilkin, Maam, Co Galway Tel: 091 571157
Britain: 6 Kensington Drive, Woodford
Green, Essex IG8 8LR Tel: 020 8551 5947
e-mail: [email protected]
DIGEST
It’s unthinkable that children in Britain
can still go hungry: Glenys Kinnock,
Good House Keeping, (April 2001) (1/
MY2001)
IMAGINE a small island with an established but pressured agricultural base and
a faltering industrial heartland. There’s
widespread affluence and, on the surface,
people seem content. Deeper examination, however, produces some disturbing
facts about the situation of the youngest in
the population, over a quarter of murder victims are children and the
only people that can be legally hit are minors. The Country is the United
Kingdom.
Child information service scoops top award: Local Government
First (28:04:2001) (2/MY2001)
MANCHESTER Children’s Information Service (MCIS) is the first local
authority-run service in the North West of England to achieve a National
Association of Children’s Information Services Quality Award. Further
information can be obtained on the internet at www.childcarelink.gov.
uk.
Children census shows one in six primary pupils owns a mobile
phone: Lorna Duckworth, The Independent (26:02:2001) (3/MY2001)
NEARLY one in six pupils between the ages of 7 and 11 owns a mobile
phone, with the highest levels of ownership in Wales and the South-east
while the lowest levels are in London, according to the census returns.
Among children aged 11 to 16, about 60 per cent have a mobile phone,
with the highest proportions in South Wales and the East Midlands.
Slightly more secondary school pupils have a home computer than primary pupils, and 65 per cent of the older pupils have access to the
internet at home compared with 54 per cent of under-11s.
Paedophile free after defying children ban: Paul Cheston, Evening
Standard (30:03:2001) (4/MY2001)
A JUDGE refused to jail a dangerous paedophile who has been
described as a grave risk to the public, despite hearing how he broke
the terms of his sex offenders’ order. Andrew Wyer, 33, of Southsea
was given two years’ probation by Judge David Selwood at Portsmouth
Crown Court for defying the order banning him from contacting youngsters. Wyer has been assessed at Broadmoor since January last year
after he admitted he was capable of reoffending and was diagnosed as
untreatable.
A fat lot of harm: Miranda Ingram, The Times (05:05:2001) (5/
MY2001)
THERE used to be just one in the school, gobstopper in his mouth and
a bag of crisps in his fist; he-or-she-was a natural target for bullying and
commonly known as fatso. It is no wonder that the number of overweight children is a source for serious national concern. Yet the subject
is taboo: when Andrew Holt, Head teacher of Tewkesbury primary
school in Gloucestershire, sent a letter of concern to mother of five-yearold, six-and-a-half-stone Georgina Beauchamp this week, he provoked
a furore. At six years old, 9 per cent of British girls are already obese
and 21.5 per cent are over weight, while 11.7 per cent of boys are obese
and 22.1 per cent overweight, according to the Obesity Resource
Information Centre.
Church sex abuser is jailed: Paul Wilkinson, The Times (03:05:2001)
(6/MY2001)
A STEWARD at Chichester cathedral who used his position to abuse
young boys attending church functions was jailed for 16 years. Terence
Banks, 63, a former BBC floor manager, molested 12 boys over almost
30 years since 1972.
He admitted 31 sexual offences. Philip Katz, QC, for the prosecution,
had told Lews Crown Court: “The offences range from touching to
repeated buggery. The background to the case concerns the systematic grooming and sexual abuse of young boys for nearly 30 years.” The
court was told that Banks offered victims alcohol, meals out and trips to
London, including tours of the BBC studios. The court was told that two
of Bank’s older victims suffered from severe mental trauma as a result
of the abuse.
Adults suffer ‘problem child’ illness: Alexandra Frean, The Times
(31:03:2001) (7/MY2001)
MORE than a million adults in Britain could be suffering from a behavioural disorder commonly associated with children and often characterised by antisocial and criminal tendencies, according to research.
Susan Young, a leading forensic science psychologist at the Institute
of Psychiatry who set up the country’s first clinic with attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), told the British Psychological Society
centenary meeting in Glasgow that there was a danger in believing
that the condition was something that children grew out of.
Lightweight babies lose out in exams: Alexandra Frean, The
Times (31:03:2001) (8/MY2001)
CHILDREN who weigh just above or below five and a half pounds at
birth perform less well in intelligence tests by the age of 11, according
to research in Scotland. By examining the records of 449 children
born in 1921 who subsequently took the equivalent of the 11 plus
exam in 1932, psychologists from the University of Edinburgh established a “small, but significant” correlation between low birth weight
and poor performance in psychometric tests.
Children ‘want to end school run’: Simon Worthington, Evening
Standard (23:05:2001) (9/MY2001)
NEARLY one in three children who are driven to school live no more
than 15 minutes’ walk away. Now parents are coming under pressure
from youngsters to make the journey to school by foot more often.
Research among 800 primary school pupils aged 7 to 11 found that
more than 38 per cent who go by car would rather walk or cycle.
According to children, the worst thing about going by car is getting
stuck in traffic, not meeting classmates and boring journeys. They are
also concerned about pollution and not getting enough exercise.
‘Sort it out Tony’: Paul Marinko, East London Advertiser (11:01:2001
(10/MY2001)
THE campaign for safety measures on East End accident blackspot
The Highway has been taken to Downing Street. Lifelong campaigner Maureen Davies has written to Prime Minister Tony Blair pleading
with him to get something done to make the road safer for Wapping
residents and schoolchildren. In the letter Maureen slams the
Government for not doing more to improve safety on the road since
coming in to power in 1997 and there are still no speed cameras on
The Highway to deter fast drivers.
She wrote that after four years Labour had done “little”, if anything to
improve road safety on The Highway”. Maureen said, “We have
documented thousands of accidents, we have got sick of burying our
kids.”
Who’s taking care of the children?: Chris Barton, The Times
(01:02:2001) (11/MY2001)
Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, has now decided to allow Aspen and
Saffron, the surrogate twins of the homosexual couple, Barrie Drewitt
and Tony Barlow, to remain indefinitely in the UK. But Drewitt and
Barlow are still a long way from being the children’s legal parents.
They are not alone in this respect. The law is unsympathetic to many
would-be parents. Adoption and assisted reproduction are both
tightly regulated. On the other hand, the law can be equally unsympathetic to those who have parenthood thrust upon them. The House
of Lords recently refused damages to a couple who have been inaccurately assured that the husband’s vasectomy had worked. But what
does the law expect, and permit, of those who achieve parenthood?
The legal demands on parents are surprisingly light. The policy is to
leave them to their own devices. There are no checks on suitability
for those who manage parenthood naturally, nor, once granted them
parenthood, for adopters.
Have our children lost the will to succeed?: Simon Jenkins, The
Times (20:05:2001) (12/MY2001)
When the Government abolished supertax in the 1970s, it left behind
a far more swingeing tax on the rich. It was called their children.
Offspring were once considered a joy and comfort to sustain their
parents in old age. Now the comfort must lie in their parents sustaining them. At a recent business dinner, each of six hard-headed
DIGEST
executives round a table discovered they were plagued by the same
problem. Each had a child who had no intention of following the parental
career but intended to be an actor. The result was an acute generation
shock. On the law of averages, the group calculated there would soon be
more actors in Britain than executives.
13 weeks’ unpaid leave from work for all parents of under-5’s: Patrick
Hennessy, (25:04:2001) (13/MY2001)
PARENTS of all children under five will have the right to take 13 weeks’
unpaid work leave under a government climb down announced today.
The move, likely to be seized on by Tories as U-turn, will affect an extra
2.8million parents when it is introduced over the next few months. At the
moment, only employee with children born after 15 December 1999, are
eligible for 13 weeks’ unpaid leave over the first five years of the child’s
life. Under the new laws, the same period of unpaid leave will be able to
be taken by the parents of all children under the age of five, although only
one month can be taken every year. Employer can ask for leave to be
delayed if it coincides with a “particularly busy period.”
Boy’s grave may bear witness to brutal regime: Audrey Magee, The
Times (20:04:2001) (14/MY2001)
WOODEN rosary beads hang from the family headstone that marks the
grave of William Delaney, a poor Irish Gypsy boy whose short life and
brutal death reveals a grim period in recent Irish history. The beads were
draped over the headstone in Kilkenny by his elderly mother after a police
inquiry revealed that her 13-year-old son, sent away to corrective institution known as an industrial school for stealing, may have died as a result
of injuries inflicted by a Roman Catholic clergyman charged with his
care.
Five-term year ‘may aid pupils to learn’: John O’Leary, The Times
(12:01:00) (15/MY2001)
LOCAL authority leaders began the first concerted move to switch schools
to a five-term year. Chris Price, a former Labour MP and university chancellor, said that the current three-term year was “set in medieval times,
based on agricultural interests and religious festivals”. Long summer
holidays were valued by teachers as their “last remaining perk”, but produced bored children who slipped back educationally.
gang that caused chaos in the Fallowfield area of Manchester.
Along with his cohorts, he ran amok and developed a reputation
for ruthlessness because the gang’s young age made it difficult
for police to take action.
Abuser may have preyed on hundreds of boys: Ian Cobain,
The Times (12:04:2001) (19/MY2001)
A SWIMMING instructor who was jailed for ten years for abusing
young boys may have preyed on hundreds of children, police
said.
William Hook, 63, was the first person to be prosecuted as a
result of a large-scale police investigation into care homes in
London and the South East. He was jailed at Kingston Crown
Court after admitting 26 charges of serious sexual assault and
indecency against six young boys. Four of the boys have since
attempted suicide. Detective Superintendent Andy Kay, who is
overseeing the investigation, code-named Operation Middleton,
said after the case that Hook came into contact with “hundreds”
of young boys in care and said:
“We are quite sure there are other victims out there”.
UK - Europe’s highest child poverty: Local Government
Political Focus (20/MY2001)
BRITISH children suffered the second highest rate of poverty in
the EU, according to a new book. Only Italian youngsters fared
worse than the UK in the study of the problem in the richest
industrialised nations and a selection of “transition” countries.
Britain also had a higher rate than many former Eastern bloc
countries, including Hungary, Poland, the Slovak Republic and
the Czech Republic. Russia was the world’s worst country for
child poverty, finishing slightly above the US, which came second
highest in the overall table complied by 45 economists, social
policy analysts and sociologists.
Sweden had the EU’s lowest child poverty rating followed by
Finland, Norway and Luxembourg. Ireland had the fourth highest
Child-friendly version of
revised draft outcome document ‘A World Fit for Children’
Killed in the name of love: Grace Bradberry, The Times (24:04:2001)
(16/MY2001)
“I’m gonna die!” the ten year-old cried, as she fought for breath inside the
tightly wrapped blue flannel sheet. “You want to die? Go ahead, die right
now,” answered one of the four adults. “I can’t breath,” she cried. “You
have to push hard if you want to be born,” came the reply. Inside the
swaddling Candace Newmaker (weight 70lb) struggled for life as four
adults (weight 673lb) pressed on her with gold pillows. The experience
was intended to Candace’s rebirth. According to the New Age therapists
who presided over the bizarre ritual, she would fight her way free and
reach out for her adoptive mother, Jeane Newmaker. But instead of a
second womb, the blue flannel sheet became Candace Newmaker’s
shroud. Jurors in a courtroom in Colorado watched in disbelief as a
70-minute video was played of her dying moments. Watkins,54, the therapist in charge, and Ponder, 40, another therapist, were found guilty of
child abuse resulting in death. They will be sentenced in June and face
prison terms of between 16 and 48 years.
Save the Children, with inputs from a range of organisations, has produced a child-friendly version of the revised
draft outcome document ‘A World Fit for Children’. The
child-friendly version is NOT an official document. It has
been written in order to make the official document more
accessible so that children and young people have the
opportunity to express their views on the document itself.
This is part of an international consultation with children
and young people on the draft document which is being
facilitated by Save the Children.
Expel aggressive three-year-olds, teachers demand: John O’Leary,
The Times (12:04:2001) (17/MY2001)
CHILDREN as young as three could be expelled from nursery school
under a “no tolerance” policy demanded yesterday by a teachers’ union.
Current legislation states that children below the statutory school age cannot be expelled, unless the reception class they attend is attached to a
primary school. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), however, called for an extension of the powers to the start of the foundation
stage of the national curriculum.
The child-friendly version is accompanied by a range of
supporting documents, including a glossary of terms and
guidelines for facilitators. The deadline for the consultation
is May 11 2001 and feedback will be compiled into an
International Commentary which can then be used as a
lobbying tool at the national, regional and international levels. The child-friendly version is available on the CRIN
website in English, French and Spanish in PDF.
Stay out of town: Andrew Loudon, Daily Mail (24:04:2001) (18/
MY2001)
A SCHOOLBOY who waged a campaign of terror in his neighbourhood
has been banned from returning to his old stamping ground for ten years.
The 15-year-old, Billy Kelly, built up a catalogue of crime that began with
shoplifting when he was 12 and escalated to burglary, car theft and threatening behaviour, including death threats. Kelly was a pivotal figure in a
For further information, contact: Clare Feinstein, Save the
Children Participation Co-ordinator for the Special
Session;
Email: [email protected] English version is located at
http://www.crin.org/resources/infoDetail.
asp?ID=1602&flag=report
tHE bACK pAGE
“Squawks” are problem listings that
pilots generally leave for maintenance
crews to fix before the next flight. Here
are some squawks submitted by US Air
Force pilots and the replies from the
maintenance crews.
and
threats
against
t h e
e r ’ s
www.
dren.
workfamily.’
chiluk.co
(P)=PROBLEM (S)=SOLUTION
> (P) Left inside main tire almost needs replacement
> (S) Almost replaced left inside main tire
> (P) Test flight OK, except autoland very rough
> (S) Autoland not installed on this aircraft
> (P) #2 Propeller seeping prop fluid
> (S) #2 Propeller seepage normal - #1 #3 and #4 propellers lack normal seepage
Last year, Fair Play for Children set the tone
for the Millennium with its ‘Let’s Make the
World Fit for all Our Children to Play In’.
> (P) Something loose in cockpit
> (S) Something tightened in cockpit
A laudable but woolly ideal? A nice slogan
along with many other fine sentiments? No,
it says that the status of children ought to be
our first concern, not a mere peripheral issue.
Some would say, Yes, fine, but we need to
tackle issues of poverty, disadvantage, health,
education - Play is a mere distraction.
> (P) Evidence of leak on right main landing gear
> (S) Evidence removed
> (P) DME volume unbelievably loud
> (S) Volume set to more believable level
> (P) Dead bugs on windshield
> (S) Live bugs on order
> (P) Autopilot in altitude hold mode produces a 200 fpm descent
> (S) Cannot reproduce problem on ground
> (P) IFF inoperative
> (S) IFF always inoperative in OFF mode
(IFF-Identification Friend or Foe)
> (P) Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick
> (S) That’s what they’re there for
> (P) Number three engine missing
> (S) Engine found on right wing after brief search
> (P) Aircraft handles funny
> (S) Aircraft warned to straighten up, “fly right”
and be serious
> (P) Target Radar hums
> (S) Reprogrammed Target Radar with the lyrics
ISN’T IT TIME YOU JOINED FAIR PLAY FOR CHILDREN?
To believe that is to downgrade the importance of childhood and of Play. To achieve
the Right to Play in its fullest implication
means turning human society on its head.
We cannot afford the luxury of pretending that
this Right exists in isolation from all the other
Rights of Childhood proclaimed in the
UN Convention.
These Rights are indivisible, they exist only in
relation to one another and the needs of every
child. Making the World Fit for Children is the
slogan of the Global Movement for Children.
Fair Play’s Millennium Objective anticipated
that call, which is why the spirit of Trevor
Huddleston, Fair Play’s founder, must be
somewhere near.
It’s fitting and apt that Nelson Mandela is
leading the Global Movement Campaign. He
knew the role Huddleston played in the struggle to free South Africa from apartheid - I feel
sure he would readily appreciate the value
Trevor Huddleston saw in Children’s Play.
Huddleston, who was a remarkable man,
once apologised that he had not been able to
devote enough time to Fair Play - he rightly
saw the priority to defeat apartheid. But Fair
Play’s membership and supporters can pay
him the best tribute - and a lasting one - by
taking the most pro-active approach to promoting the Right to Play. This means taking
every opportunity to impress on local and
central government and communities the
need for proper resourcing of Play, and the
creation of a healthy play environment. Do
that, and we will have healthy, sustain-