Daily roundup: 7 September: Migrants, grammar schools and mental health
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Increase in number of asylum-seeking children; plans to end ban on building new grammar schools; and calls to invest more in mental health services for children in Scotland, all in the news today.
The number of asylum-seeking children in the care of English councils has risen by 62 per cent in the past year. The BBC reports that at least 104 councils are now caring for more unaccompanied minors than they were in 2015. The total number in care has risen to 4,156.
The government is understood to be preparing to publish plans within the next few weeks that could end the ban on new grammar schools. The Guardian reports that notes which were inadvertently photographed refer to a possible consultation on plans to "open new grammars".
Urgent investment is needed to improve children's mental health services, the Scottish Children's Services Coalition, which represents independent and third sector providers, has said. The organisation has called for the Scottish government to increase investment in mental health services, and for a renewed focus on early intervention, including greater in-school counselling.
Former shadow chancellor Ed Balls has been appointed vice-president of Action for Stammering Children, a charity that supports children and young people with stammers. Balls has been a supporter and fundraiser of the charity for a number of years, and has spoken publicly about the challenges of public life with a stammer.
Labour MP Sharon Hodgson has been appointed as the new chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties. Hodgson, a former shadow children's minister, said she will make sure that reforms as a result of the Children and Families Act 2014 are giving children and young people "the best deal possible".