Instagram adds Reels Replies  

  • Instagram has officially announced that users can reply to comments on Instagram posts with a Reel. 
  • Reels is an Instagram feature that allows users to create 15-second videos with popular music, filters, and effects.  
  • This new ability to create a video reply to other users has been developed to boost engagement with the feature and to rival the similar feature announced by TikTok in June of last year.  
  • Check out our Instagram safety card, here.  
  • Full story, here.  

 Vulnerable children risk falling into crime if schools do not reopen after Christmas  

  • The anticipated spike in Covid-19 infections, due to the Omicron variant, has caused growing concern that schools will be closed once again.  
  • Campaigners have warned that further school closures will result in vulnerable children being drawn into violent crime, drug dealing and sexual abuse.  
  • Former Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has also warned that closures mean the most vulnerable and marginalised children were most likely to suffer.  
  • Longfield expressed concern that the drop in referrals from schools to social services shows the impact of the pandemic on schools to effectively safeguard the most at-risk children and young people.  
  • Full story, here. 

 Beauticians illegally offering lip fillers to under 18’s on social media  

  • A BBC investigation has found that under-18’s can contact practitioners on social media, despite Facebook’s policy that their Marketplace site must not promote the sale of cosmetic procedures.  
  • It is illegal for under-18’s to receive dermal fillers for cosmetic reasons – this includes making an appointment or agreeing to undertake the procedure for an underage client.  
  • The BBC investigators created a Facebook profile of 16-year-old ‘Jennie May’ to test the above and found that the profile was able to contact more than 200 practitioners, one in five of whom were willing to treat underage ‘Jennie’. 
  • In response to these findings, Facebook has confirmed that certain search terms have now been blocked and listings that violate its guidelines will be removed.  
  • Full story, here.  

Northern Ireland classroom assistants under pressure to plug teaching gaps  

  • The Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (NIPSA) has revealed that schools in Northern Ireland are turning to classroom assistants to fill the gaps left by teachers absent due to Covid-19 related reasons.  
  • A survey conducted by NIPSA has shown that 68% of assistants, who are not qualified teachers, have been asked to step in as emergency cover.  
  • There has also been concern expressed over the revelation that 63% of assistants feel under pressure to cover classes when teachers are absent.  
  • In some instances, the staff absence rate has been so high that principals have been left with no choice but to send home whole classes and year groups as no cover was available.  
  • Full story, here.