Daily roundup 27 June: Foreign languages, online game, and forces families

Neil Puffett
Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Concerns Brexit may be dissuading disadvantaged children from learning a foreign language; police and coroner issue warning about potential harm of online game; and children's commissioner calls for more joined-up support for children from forces families, all in the news today.

Children from poorer backgrounds in England are increasingly likely to miss out on learning a foreign language, a report has suggested. The BBC reports that some teachers blame new tougher GCSEs for putting lower ability pupils off language learning. There is also a perception that languages are less important since the vote to leave the European Union, the British Council study claims.


Police, and a coroner have issued a stark warning about the psychological impact of an online game after a 15-year-old boy's death. The Mirror reports that officers have urged parents to be vigilant after concerns were raised about free-to-play game Doki Doki Literature Club, calling it a "risk to children and young people". Schools have also been alerted by a coroner investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of 15-year-old Ben Walmsley in Radcliffe, Bury, in February.


More should be done to ensure children of armed forces families receive continuous support services - such as mental health therapy or special educational needs support - if they have to move between areas, a report has recommended. A report by the Children's Commissioner for England found that although most children in armed forces families are growing up living happy lives, the lifestyle can be tough, and that multiple school moves often leave children feeling unsettled and anxious.


Adopted children who have suffered traumatic early experiences are "barely surviving" in the current high-pressure school environment and need greater support if they are to have an equal chance of success, a charity has said. The Guardian reports that a study by Adoption UK found that they are falling behind in their studies because they are struggling to cope emotionally with the demands of the current education system which "prizes exam results at the expense of wellbeing".


Fathers are being cut off from their children because the courts have "fallen short", the incoming head of the family court has said. The Telegraph reports that, speaking to the annual Families Need Fathers conference, Sir Andrew McFarlane acknowledged that some men felt let down by the court system. The Court of Appeal judge, who will take over from Sir James Munby as president of the family division when he retires next month, said that he had heard "depressing" accounts of the family justice system from fathers.

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