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The next commissioner needs bite

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has fired the starting gun to recruit a children's commissioner for England to succeed Sir Al Aynsley-Green early next year.

Policy into practice - Swimming

The issue: Swimming is an ever-popular sporting activity with children and young people, particularly during the school holidays and summer months. As well as getting active and healthy it can also be a great way to have fun with friends.

Policy into practice - Postnatal depression

THE ISSUE: More than 70,000 women annually are diagnosed with postnatal depression in the UK. This means that one in 10 new mothers suffer with symptoms ranging from mild depression to suicidal thoughts.

Policy into practice Health and wellbeing

The issue: Good health and wellbeing are vital if teenagers are to make the transition to adulthood successfully. However, consistent health inequalities combined with peer pressure, an increase in unsupervised time and the constant glorification of excess through the media are taking their toll.

Super-size kids vs super-size nannyism

We've all got our memories, rarely charitable, of school dinners. We've probably also got our memories of how we dodged the stodge, with or without our parents' consent. I saved for my first guitar by doing without for a term. I am not quite sure what I actually lived on.

Policy into practice - Dealing with stress

THE ISSUE. Adults often complain that they feel stressed at work. However, recent research has highlighted that young people also suffer from stress. School, parents, siblings, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends and pressure to take drugs can all at times provide young people with considerable anxiety.

Policy into practice Children in hospital

THE ISSUE: Each year, around one in 15 children and young people will be admitted to hospital. Some of these cases require children to stay in hospital for a significant period of time, resulting in thousands of families facing the difficult emotional and practical challenges of supporting their loved ones.

Editorial: The defiance of Sharon Shoesmith

Haringey's former director of children's services has now told her side of the Baby P story. Strikingly, three months on, the ability to unequivocally say sorry still eludes Sharon Shoesmith in the interviews that surfaced last weekend.

Policy into practice - Healthy eating

A healthy and nutritious diet is an important factor in leading a healthy lifestyle and can prevent obesity and disease in later life. But many children and young people do not always have the information to make decisions about what they eat as parents and schools often determine their meals.

Is a better diet in custody a recipe for success?

A doctor and writer with the wonderfully exotic name of Theodore Dalrymple once observed that young people coming out of young offender institutions were probably considerably healthier than when they went in - indeed, often more than they had ever been in their lives.

Commissioner for Wales is up to the challenge

It was an "exceedingly drawn-out" appointments process, according to one Welsh politician. But Keith Towler came through the interviews, both with young people and politicians, to secure the position of children's commissioner for Wales, just under a year after the untimely death of his predecessor Peter Clarke.

Editorial: Inherent dangers lurk in staying safe plan

With the publication of the Staying Safe Action Plan last week, the government has been at pains not to be seen to wrap children up in cotton wool. In presentation terms, the document's front cover depicts children happily participating in watersports, climbing and running. Meanwhile, the Department for Children, Schools and Families' press notice on the safety plan leads heavily on the proposal to encourage teachers to take pupils on outdoor school trips by providing advice and diminishing bureaucracy.