Daily roundup 3 November: Votes at 16, sexual violence, and CCTV
Friday, November 3, 2017
Proposed legislation to lower voting age to be debated; Tory MP raises concerns about sexual violence in schools; and parents criticise school for placing CCTV camera in pupil toilets, all in the news today.
MPs are to debate a bill aiming to reduce the voting age to 16, with the cross-party supporters of the measure arguing it is a long-overdue idea which would boost involvement in politics. The Guardian reports that the bill, officially titled the representation of the people (young people's enfranchisement and education) bill, will receive its second reading today, the initial opportunity for MPs to debate the idea.
Children as young as six suffer sexual violence in school, MPs heard during a debate on the issue in Parliament. The BBC reports that Tory MP Maria Miller said one mother had told her that her six-year-old was raped by a classmate but her teachers dismissed it as "playful activity". Minister for women Anne Milton said parents who felt their child was unsafe should go to children's social care and there remained "much more to do".
Parents have criticised a secondary school after CCTV cameras were installed in pupils' toilets. The BBC reports that Summerhill School in Kingswinford in the West Midlands said cameras were intended to combat bullying and vandalism. But parents said the surveillance was "intrusive" and "creepy" and some children now refused to use the toilet.
Thousands of children in London are already "struggling to survive", poverty campaigners have warned after a report revealed benefit cuts are set to worsen the crisis. The Evening Standard reports that the head of charity The Childhood Trust said children are desperate for help and pleaded for a rethink on the government's universal credit reforms.
A total of 16 parents of children in East Sussex have been taken to court for failing to ensure their children regularly attend school. The Brighton Argus reports that the prosecutions came during the first month of an East Sussex County Council campaign urging parents to "get a grip" and ensure their child attends school every day.
Slow, complicated delays in diagnosing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are putting UK children at risk, a study has found. The BBC reports that nearly a third of children surveyed by the ADHD Foundation waited two or more years to be diagnosed with ADHD. Most felt it wasn't recognised as a real condition by the GPs, school staff and specialists they encountered.
Campaigners have stepped up calls for a change in Scots law to tackle international abductions of children by overseas parents after new figures revealed a soaring number of cases in the past decade. The Scotsman reports that dozens of new "international abduction" cases happen every year in Scotland having previously stood in single figures in 2007. The practice has been branded "child abuse" by campaigners who say there is a "stark difference" between Scotland and England over the issue.