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August 30, 2023

Children on free school meals ‘more likely to experience harm online’

  • New research conducted by Children’s online safety group Internet Matters has found that disadvantaged children are more likely to experience harm online.
  • Its survey of children and parents appeared to show that pupils who received free school meals generally experienced more negative emotions than their peers.
  • 74% of children surveyed reported experiencing at least one online harm, compared to 60% of those not receiving free school meals.
  • A quarter of free school meals children said that they have more friends online than they do at school, compared with 19% of children who do not receive free school meals.
  • Similarly, parents of children who receive free school meals are consistently more likely to report their child as having been exposed to a wide range of online harms.
  • Parents of those receiving free school meals were more than twice as likely to say that their children had poor body image or low self-esteem as a result of what they have seen online.
  • For more, please visit the Yahoo News website.

NI parents considering not sending children to school over uniform costs and cutting back on food to afford uniforms

  • The preloved school uniform hub in West Belfast has helped hundreds of children by providing them with a school uniform.
  • Paul Doherty, who runs the hub, stated parents have reported not wanting to send their children to school as they were embarrassed by the old uniform they would have to wear.
  • Save the Children NI carried out research with help from LucidTalk and found 78% of respondents believed authorities aren’t doing enough to reduce costs of uniforms.
  • 97% reported that schools should ensure parents have adequate choice of unforms, with 64% supporting generic uniforms from high streets.
  • One parent reported: “It’s a sizeable chunk of money and by paying so much we have to reduce spending on food”.
  • Grandparents have also reported having to step in to assist financially for the first time this year.
  • Former Education Minister, Michelle McIlveen, vowed to review the uniform grants in 2021 and 2022, and raised the allowance 20% for the worst-off families.
  • However, families not entitled to the grant are also feeling the financial challenge.
  • For more, please visit the Belfast Live website, and the Belfast Telegraph website.

Grammar School in Co Down left with ‘no other decision than to close’ due to computer virus

  • Bangor Grammar School made the announcement on social media on Tuesday, that the school is set to remain closed due to the discovery of a ‘computer virus’.
  • Acting Principal, Mr Gilmore, stated that: “The health and safety of our pupils is paramount and as such we can take no other decision than to close school tomorrow (Wednesday 30 August)”.
  • He continued: “Please accept my apologies for this and we will update you again tomorrow with plans for Thursday”.
  • For more, please visit the ITVX News website.

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