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23/02/15
"We live on a blue planet that circles around a ball of fire next to a moon that moves the sea, and you don't believe in miracles?"

Sometimes we can get so caught up in our own small worlds. I love this quote because it reminds me of the magnificence of life and the huge miracles that are all around each of us if we look for them. Just what's needed for a Monday morning!
17/02/15
“If it’s not better, it’s not the end” − Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups: One year on.

...There is encouraging evidence that many of the Inquiry recommendations are being taken seriously. We are pleased to see that there are areas and agencies across the country where progress is being made. The strong leadership from the Home Office is also welcome.
At the same time, much remains to be done. There are still too many places where those who have responsibility for the protection of children are failing to face up to the realities of CSE. In other areas, while strategic leaders are committed and determined, the messages have not filtered to the frontline so good intentions are not yet leading to better practice.
In addition, the Government’s promised revision of the definition of sexual exploitation and a myth busting guide on information sharing have not been delivered. Limited understanding of sexual exploitation and failure to share information means children are still slipping through the net. Despite calls from young people and experts, the Department for Education (DfE) has failed to make relationships and sex education compulsory in all schools.
[Sue Berelowitz. Deputy Children’s Commissioner for England Visiting Professor, Bedfordshire University] 17.2.15]

For the full report go to: http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/content/publications/content_920
16/02/15
Posting "revenge porn" images and videos on the internet is becoming a criminal offence in England and Wales.

The Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, which has a specific amendment dealing with such actions, will receive Royal Assent and become law later. Offenders face up to two years in jail.

The amendment covers images sent on social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, and those sent by text.

Both Scotland and Northern Ireland are considering similar laws.

The new English and Welsh law classes revenge porn as "photographs or films which show people engaged in sexual activity or depicted in a sexual way or with their genitals exposed, where what is shown would not usually be seen in public".

It covers images shared on and offline without the subject's permission and with the intent to cause harm. Physical distribution of images will also be covered.

The Scottish Government told BBC Newsbeat there were plans to consult on making revenge porn a specific offence.

Northern Ireland's Department for Justice said there were existing laws to prosecute revenge porn offenders, but ministers would consider the case for a new offence.
Revenge porn concept image The law covers images sent on social networks and those sent by text message

Victims of revenge porn have found it difficult to have pictures removed from the internet.

Many sites where the images are hosted are based outside the UK, and requests to remove content are often ignored.

In some cases, asking for removal results in more attention being brought to the images.

According to information from eight police forces in England and Wales that kept data on this issue, there were 149 allegations of revenge porn made between 1 January 2012 and 1 July 2014.

The vast majority of victims were women. Six incidents resulted in police action.

Without specific legislation, some have sought legal workarounds to have images taken down - most commonly the use of copyright law, since if an intimate picture has been taken as a "selfie", the image's copyright belongs to the taker.
'Virtually raped'

Former culture secretary Maria Miller told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the law needed to change.

She said: "By putting this in place the government has given young women the opportunity to protect themselves from their lives being blighted.

"When you speak to the victims of these crimes, many say that it feels as if you've been virtually raped.

"You can't underestimate the impact of having an image distributed to many people around the world."

Barbora Bukovska, from the organisation Article 19, which defends freedom of expression, said criminal legislation would not solve this problem.

She said: "There is probably no need to introduce a new law as there is already enough legislation prohibiting this conduct." [BBC News. 12.2.15]
10/02/15
One In Seven Children Admit To Online Bullying

A poll shows many children bully others online in order to fit in with a social group or to avoid being targeted themselves.

One in seven children say they have bullied somebody online, with many admitting they do so to avoid being targeted themselves.

The poll commissioned by the charity Action for Children reveals how widespread bullying has become online, with stress and low self-esteem cited as reasons some children target others.

The survey found 15% of the 2,000 eight to 17-year-olds polled said they have bulled somebody on the internet.

Some 59% said they bullied others to fit in with a social group, while 43% said they did so to prevent themselves being targeted.

A quarter of respondents said they became a bully due to peer pressure and 12% said they bullied others because they were unhappy.

The results of the poll have been published to mark Safer Internet Day.

Deanna Neilson, head of child protection at Action for Children, said the results are "shocking".

But she cautioned that many children bully others because of "something going wrong in their own lives" or through fear.

"Low self-esteem, stress at school or being victimised themselves by peers or adults are all reasons a child might act out on others," she said.

"It's important for parents to ask children about the day they've had online, just as they ask about the day they've had at school - whether your child is being bullied or bullying others, the problem, and any potentially more severe issues surrounding it, must be addressed."

It comes as a separate survey found half of secondary school pupils and more than a quarter of those at primary school have communicated with a stranger on social media.

The research by the charity Tablets for Schools found using tablet computers at school increased the likelihood of a young person telling someone after seeing something upsetting online.

The survey of 7,000 youngsters also found around 70% of secondary-age pupils and half of primary-age pupils take an internet-based device to bed with them. [Sky News. 10.2.15]
10/02/15
PSHEeducation are proud to be part of the campaign for making the Internet a safer place. Today is 'Safer Internet Day' and I would like to take this opportunity to say what a privilege it is to support schools in educating their children, young people and parents and I am looking forward to working with clients both old and new over the coming months to keep our young generation happy and safe online.
02/02/15
Fired up this morning following a meeting with Sam Gyimah the Childcare and Education Minister. Great discussion on mental health and how to tackle this issue effectively in schools. Looking forward to working on this further with Sam and his colleagues and good to see the Govenment are taking this issue seriously.