Coronavirus daily round-up: Friday 6 November

Fiona Simpson
Friday, November 6, 2020

There was a 20 per cent increase in the number of babies killed or harmed during the first Covid-19 lockdown, Ofsted’s chief inspector has warned.

Amanda Spielman has issued a stark warning over a risk to babies during lockdown. Picture: Ofsted
Amanda Spielman has issued a stark warning over a risk to babies during lockdown. Picture: Ofsted
  • Each day, CYP Now will summarise the key issues affecting the children and families sector as it tackles the effects of the pandemic. The daily update signposts children’s services practitioners and leaders to the latest developments, expert views, advice and resources.

Warning over lockdown risk to babies

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted’s chief inspector, has issued a stark warning over an increase in the number of babies harmed and killed during the first lockdown.

Sixty four babies were deliberately harmed in England - eight of whom died. Some 40% of the 300 incidents reported involved infants, up a fifth on 2019.

Ms Spielman believes a "toxic mix" of isolation, poverty and mental illness caused the March to October spike.

EYA calls for extension of early years funding

The Early Years Alliance (EYA) is calling on the government to continue to provide early entitlement funding regardless of childcare attendance figures until at least spring 2021, following the extension of the Job Retention Scheme announced by the Chancellor.

Neil Leitch, chief executive of the EYA, said: "If the sector is to survive, it is essential that the government provides the support early years providers need to get through this difficult period. That means both a commitment to continuing to pay for funded childcare places that would normally have been taken up through to the end of the spring term, and urgent emergency funding to safeguard those settings most at risk of closure, especially providers heavily reliant on private parental income.”

Scouts cut more jobs 

Scouts has announced further job cuts and the sale of an activity centre and its flagship London hostel due to the financial impact of Covid-19.

The organisation, which previously announced 50 job losses in August, has now said around 100 staff will be made redundant in total.

It has also announced the sale of Baden-Powell House, a hostel and conference centre in central London, and its Downe Scout Activity Centre in Kent.

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