Daily roundup: Mental health, FGM clinic and class sizes
Monday, August 18, 2014
Conservative MP calls for government to end practice of children and young people with mental health needs being held in police cells; plans unveiled for first specialist FGM clinic; and figures reveal true size of primary school classes, all in the news today.
A leading Conservative MP has called on the government to end the "scandal" of vulnerable children and young people suffering a mental health crisis being assessed in a police cell because of a shortage of proper facilities. The Guardian reports that Sarah Wollaston, chair of the health select committee, said it was "wholly unacceptable" for under-18s who are picked up by the police because they are having a breakdown to be taken into cells rather than to a specialist medical unit.
The first specialist clinic for child victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK is set to open in London next month. The BBC reports that the clinic, at University College London, will provide medical and psychological treatment to girls. Doctors will also be available to carry out examinations if the police are not sure if FGM has occurred.
New figures show that hundreds of children are being taught in classes with more than 70 pupils. The Telegraph reports figures obtained by Labour from the Department for Education, which also show that almost 100 primary schools have classes with at least 50 pupils.
A paedophile at the centre of the government’s historical child abuse inquiry is alleged to have visited children’s homes before advising the Home Office on reform of the care system. The Daily Mail reports that Peter Righton, a founding member of the Paedophile Information Exchange, visited homes in the Midlands and North West before contributing to a government paper in 1970.
Ofsted has closed a nursery in Wiltshire after police investigating the setting arrested a 37-year-old woman. According to the BBC, the nature of the investigation into Little Angels Nursery in Calne is unknown and officers are said to be working closely with the local authority.
And finally, police in Swindon say a dispersal order designed to stop young people gathering at a shopping centre in the town has proved effective. The Swindon Advertiser reports that action was taken after police received complaints about a group of up to 30 youths aged between 12 and 20 who had been gathering in the Walcot centre. Police say more shoppers are visiting businesses in the centre since the dispersal order came into effect last month.