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December 6, 2023

Children as young as 11 sexually harassed on public transport

  • Children as young as 11 say they are “tired” of being sexually harassed on buses and trains.
  • British Transport Police has reported it was “unacceptable” and was working hard to tackle the problem.
  • In September, a law to make sexual harassment in public a criminal offence was passed, with a maximum sentence of two years in prison.
  • Det Ch Insp Nia Mellor from British Transport Police urged anyone who saw or experience sexual harassment to report it.
  • She said that a mixture of high-visibility and plain-clothes officers were working to create a “hostile environment” for perpetrators on trains.
  • The force also encouraged bystanders to “safely intervene” by doing something as simple as asking the person being targeted if they are okay.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

High rate of UK teens skipping meals because of poverty, survey suggests

  • Teenagers in the UK are skipping more meals because of poverty than in many other Western European countries.
  • In the UK, 11% of pupils told the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) survey that they missed a meal at least once a week.
  • The average across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which runs Pisa, was 8%.
  • This is the first time that the OECD has run a second part to the study, focusing on wellbeing.
  • The report points out that if young people are hungry, they are unlikely to learn as effectively.
  • Head teacher Jason Bridges stated that these figures were no shock, with more than two-thirds of his students receiving free school meals.
  • He also commented on the increase of mental health and safeguarding issues.
  • For more, please visit the BBC News website.

Mentally ill girl under four-to-one supervision forced to stay in hospital

  • The child has repeatedly hurt herself, gone missing and attempted suicide.
  • Judge Simon Burrows questioned doctors’ decisions not to detain her under the Mental Health Act (MHA) and highlighted the lack of places at secure children’s homes nationally, in series of hearings in the Family Division of the High Court.
  • Claire has had a turbulent childhood, being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is vulnerable to sexual exploitation. She has been in and out of hospital and had a number of failed welfare placements because of her risk-taking behaviour.
  • Professionals in the case described the restrictions put on Claire as “the most intense they had seen in their cumulatively long careers”, the judge said, but “they were entirely at a loss to think that any lesser restrictions could safely be imposed upon her.”
  • On Claire’s case, an NHS spokesperson said: “While we cannot comment on individual cases, we remain committed to working with our patient and clinical stakeholders to improve access and quality of care for the record number of children and young people seeking mental health support.”
  • For more, please visit the Independent website.

NI Pupils perform well in mathematics, reading and science in International Survey

  • The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2022, which is co-ordinated by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), survey of educational achievement of 15-year-olds, shows that young people in Northern Ireland continue to perform highly compared to young people in other education systems across the world.
  • In comparison with other parts of the UK, results in NI were significantly above that of Wales and not significantly different to that of Scotland.
  • However Northern Ireland fell significantly below the average scores in England.
  • The performance of the top achievers has been maintained since 2018, but the performance of low achievers has fallen.
  • In NI and on average across all OECD countries the score for science has not changed significantly since 2018.
  • Scores for maths and reading have declined in NI and on average across OECD countries.
  • Pupils in NI , reported an average level of life satisfaction which was significantly lower than the OECD average.
  • For more, please visit the Department of Education website.