Author Archives: Wendy Craddock

Free Online Short course: An Introduction to Speech, Language and Communication

The Communication Trust launch the new and improved FREE CPD online short course!

The Communication Trust are excited to share the new and improved free CPD online short course: ‘An introduction to speech, language and communication’. They have re-developed this course so it is now tailored for the needs of practitioners working across all the different education phases. Users have the option to access four different pathways – early years, primary, secondary or further education. Each course has a number of activities and resources to support learning.

The course aims to boost practitioners’ knowledge and skills in:

  • Understanding the importance of speech, language and communication as central life skills
  • Understanding typical speech, language and communication
  • Strategies to support children’s speech, language and communication development
  • Identifying and supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN)

The course is suitable for anyone working with children and young people across all different backgrounds and is completely free. To access the CPD online short course please click here.

SEED Report: A Study of the Quality of Early Years Provision in England

The latest in a series of reports from the SEED study, a major longitudinal study of early years education following almost 6,000 children in England from age two through to the end of KS1 (age seven), has been published. The report uncovers key factors associated with high-quality in childcare and early years settings.

As part of the Study of Early Education and Development (SEED), researchers measured quality in 1,000 childcare settings caring for children aged from two to four years old.

The study found that staff training and development, lower staff turnover and accepting a narrower range of ages at the setting were associated with higher quality provision across private, voluntary, nursery class and nursery school settings. A higher average level of staff qualification and having fewer children per member of staff were also associated with higher quality provision in private and voluntary settings.

The report along with a summary of the key findings of the report can be found here.

Systematic Review of the Relationships between Sedentary Behaviour, Physical Activity and Health Indicators in the Early Years

Two new reviews have been carried out investigating the link between sedentary behaviour, physical activity and health indicators.

  1. Systematic review of the relationships between sedentary behaviour and health indicators in the early years (0-4 years). Poitras VJ, Gray CE, Janssen X, Aubert S, Carson V, Faulkner G, Goldfield GS, Reilly JJ, Sampson M, Tremblay MS. BMC Public Health. 2017 Nov 20;17(Suppl 5):868. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4849-8.The review supports the importance of minimizing screen time for disease prevention and health promotion in the early years, but also highlights the potential cognitive benefits of interactive non-screen-based sedentary behaviours such as reading and storytelling. Additional high-quality research using valid and reliable measures is needed to more definitively establish the relationships between durations, patterns, and types of SB and health indicators, and to provide insight into the appropriate dose of SB for optimal health in the early years.
  2. Systematic review of the relationships between physical activity and health indicators in the early years (0-4 years). Carson V, Lee EY, Hewitt L, Jennings C, Hunter S, Kuzik N, Stearns JA, Unrau SP, Poitras VJ, Gray C, Adamo KB, Janssen I, Okely AD, Spence JC, Timmons BW, Sampson M, Tremblay MS. BMC Public Health. 2017 Nov 20;17(Suppl 5):854. doi: 10.1186/s12889-017-4860-0. This review concludes that specific types of physical activity, total physical activity, and physical activity of at least moderate- to vigorous-intensity were consistently favourably associated with multiple health indicators.

Working with Schools to Improve the Health of School-Aged Children

This report from the Local Government Association showcases the work being done by schools and local authorities across the country to improve the health of children. 

Case studies are included on:

  • tackling mental and emotional health,
  • mental health training for school staff,
  • using a school garden to encourage healthy behaviours, using experts to deliver sex education,
  • using digital technologies to engage pupils with school nursing,
  • getting kids involved in the daily mile craze
  • and using the national child measurement programme to tackle obesity.

To download the report click on the link: Working with schools to improve the health of school-aged children

County Lines: Protecting Vulnerable People from Exploitation

The Home Office is working with partners to raise awareness of county lines which is part of the cross-government approach to ending gang violence and exploitation.

County lines gangs use children and vulnerable people to courier drugs and money.

The Home Office have developed a range of materials to help statutory and non-statutory staff identify victims and report concerns to protect those exploited through this criminal activity. They have produced infographic posters which carry the strapline:

‘Children are being exploited by gangs involved in drug crime. Know the signs to spot.’

To view and download the posters click on the link:

Consultation: Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision

The government has published proposals to improve mental health support for children and young people in England. Over £300 million has been made available to fund them.

They’re asking people for their views on the planned measures, which are set out in a green paper.

Measures include:

  • encouraging every school and college to have a ‘designated senior mental health lead’
  • setting up mental health support teams working with schools, to give children and young people earlier access to services
  • piloting a 4-week waiting time for NHS children and young people’s mental health services

To read the Green Paper click on the link below:

This consultation closes at midday on 2 March 2018.

The consultation is here: