Daily roundup: Olympic seats, Safeguarding in Tower Hamlets and mental health online

Neil Puffett
Monday, July 30, 2012

Local school children drafted in to fill empty seats at London 2012, Ofsted praise for Tower Hamlets and cash for digital mood monitoring, all make the news today.

It is hoped the Olympics will boost involvement of young people in sport. Image: Sport England
It is hoped the Olympics will boost involvement of young people in sport. Image: Sport England

Children are to benefit the opportunity to use empty seats at Olympic events, the Telegraph reports. Amid concerns over scores of empty seats at events including gymnastics, tennis and swimming, despite venues reportedly being “sold out”, organisers have said local children will be taken by bus to venues to fill gaps.

Safeguarding and looked after children services in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets have been judged as “good” overall with several “outstanding" aspects, the authority has revealed ahead of the publication of its latest Ofsted report. The council said inspectors also found that work within specialist teams, such as those dedicated to children with disabilities and private fostering, demonstrated “exemplary practice”.

A new £600,000 grant programme is to finance the development of online tools to help young people look after their mental health. The cash, which comes from Comic Relief, the Nominet Trust and Right Here, will be available to charities that want to develop any one of eight new digital products. The ideas for the eight products, which include an online mood monitoring and wellbeing tool, have been generated by young people, technology experts, youth workers and mental health professionals.

The government's academies and free schools programme is leading to a loss of democratic accountability in the education system, a think-tank has said. In a policy statement, the New Visions for Education Group said it wants important governance functions to be carried out by local education authorities with powers to deliver “strategically-planned” education services. The call has been backed by shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg.

Families will be better able to make decisions about buying video games for children after the introduction of legally enforceable age ratings, the BBC reports. Retailers, selling games rated 12, 16 or 18 years to children who are under age will face prosecution. Packaging will also feature symbols warning that the game contains elements such as bad language, drugs, fear, sex or violence.

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