They know ‘How to’, but many lack judgement/knowledge of the risk & dangers

95% of children in Wales aged 7 to 15 use the internet at home, a new report shows.  The Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has announced that online safety will remain a key priority for the Welsh Government with an extensive programme to enhance online safety practice in schools over the next two years, to continue to support young people to stay safe online.

Last month the Cabinet Secretary for Education launched the Online Safety Zone on Hwb, the digital learning platform for schools in Wales.  The Online Safety Zone provides young people, teachers, parents and governors with access to a wide range of bilingual online safety materials.

WAG is also supporting Operation Netsafe (a pan-Wales campaign led by South Wales Police in partnership with the Lucy Faithful Foundation), which aims to stop the creation, viewing & sharing of indecent images of children online.
Researched Links:

WAG:  Online Safety remains a key priority as internet use rises

And here is another area of ‘digital concern’

Online Safety Zone on Hwb

Operation Net Safe – Tackling online child sexual abuse & exploitation

Lucy Faithfull Foundation Child protection charity Child Sexual Abuse

NCSC:  Schoolgirls beat 8,000 rivals to qualify for grand final of national CyberFirst girls' challenge

NCSC:  Girls impress judges in national final of cyber security contest


The Information Commissioner’s Office carried out this survey, about the governance of data protection and freedom of information, in 2016 to identify common areas of both good practice and possible improvement. The survey was open to local councils, excluding parish and town councils. Councils were advised to make one submission, ideally completed by their information governance lead.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • 25% of councils do not yet have a Data Protection Officer. Under the new GDPR they must have one.
  • More than 15% of councils do not have data protection training for employees processing personal data.
  • A third of councils don’t do privacy impact assessments, another legal requirement under GDPR in certain circumstances

Click here to access and download the full survey.

First Service; a gentle lob
Theresa May has given a statement in Parliament on her letter notifying the European Council President of the UK’s intention to leave the EU.
Researched Links:

10DS:  PM's Commons statement on triggering Article 50

ScotGov:  FM on Article 50

ScotGov:  Great Repeal Bill

EHRC:  Great Repeal Bill response

CBI: What business wants from UK-EU negotiations after Article 50

TUC: Great Repeal Bill must make good on PM’s promise to fully protect workers’ rights

TUC: PM must now take the time to get the best Brexit deal for working people

IEA:  The PM’s letter is measured & conciliatory – perhaps too much so

Demos:  Britain’s industries call for Brexit to be underpinned by a vision for economic & social renewal

WWF responds to the triggering of Article 50

Return service; the EU pots call the UK kettle ‘black’

The Conference of Presidents endorsed a motion for a resolution drawn up by the leaders of four political groups and the Constitutional Affairs Committee, in which they set out their conditions for a final approval by the European Parliament of any withdrawal agreement with the UK. The draft resolution will be debated and voted on by the full house next Wednesday.

The motion attaches great importance to fair treatment of EU-27 citizens and stresses the need for reciprocity & non-discrimination between UK citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK.

The UK must continue to both enjoy all its rights and respect all its obligations under the EU Treaty until it leaves, including financial commitments under the current EU long-term budget, even if those go beyond the withdrawal date.  This also means that the UK must continue to accept the 4 freedoms, the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, general budgetary contributions and adherence to the EU’s common trade policy until it leaves.  MEPs insist on the importance of addressing the issue of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

MEPs agree that talks can start on possible transitional arrangements based on plans for the future relationship between the EU and the UK, but only if & when good progress has been made towards the withdrawal agreement.   A future relationship agreement can only be concluded once the UK has actually left the EU and a transitional arrangement may not last longer than 3 years.

Editorial Note;   So the EU can ‘blackmail’ us over agreeing a ‘divorce bill’ before any trade discussions, but it is ‘unreasonable for us to point out they have no automatic right to our security assets/information and that perhaps they (& especially Germany which can afford it) ought to pay their fair share of the cost of European security (including NATO).  After all when the UK leaves the EU, 80% of the EU’s defence forces will be paid for by countries outside the EU!
Researched Links:

EU News:  Brexit: MEPs set out conditions for approving UK withdrawal agreement

Achieving ‘Love All’ in the final SET

In a new report, Open Europe argues that leaving the EU’s Customs Union is the only logical step for the UK to pursue an independent trade policy and achieve a truly ‘Global Britain’ outside the EU.  The study concludes that the UK and the EU should aim for full cooperation on the practicalities & administration of customs as part of a comprehensive UK-EU free trade deal.

Free trade does not require a customs union and over half of UK trade happens without it.  Most UK trade (51.5% in 2015) is not with the EU. Non-EU trade takes place without a customs union and is growing faster than trade with the EU.  In 2015, the US was the largest recipient of UK goods exports (16.6%).  There is no EU-US FTA, let alone a customs union.

None of the alternatives to the status quo guarantee frictionless UK-EU movement of goods.  There are various options available for UK-EU customs cooperation. The core trade-off is integration versus control. The more integrated the UK remains with the EU, the less control it will have over its trade policy. The best solution is for the UK to leave EUCU and conclude a comprehensive UK-EU FTA with full customs cooperation.  This is in line with the direction of global trade negotiations, which now focus largely on Non-Tariff Barriers – including customs.
Researched Links:

Open Europe: Nothing to declare - A plan for UK-EU trade outside the Customs Union

PC&PE:  Clarity needed on UK access to Digital Single Market post-Brexit

techUK:  Tech Industry Calls for Brexit Negotiations that Secure a Bright Digital Future

PC&PE:  Brexit and the EU budget report debated by Lords

IPPR:  Lack of EU migrant packers, food workers & cleaners could result in post-Brexit labour shortages

techUK warns UK Faces Tech Talent Cliff Edge Without Urgent Government Action

SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

They deserve ‘special’ care
In response to the Government's consultation on the high needs funding formula for schools the Local Government Association, which represents over 370 local authorities, is warning that if the Government does not adequately fund SEND, children with high needs or disabilities could miss out on a mainstream education.
Researched Links:

LGA:  Children with special needs at risk of being turned away by schools – warn councils

New funding boost for pupils with SEND

DWP:  Welfare reforms and £330m employment package start from April 2017

Children with special educational needs & disabilities (SEND ...

Special Educational Needs - Child Law Advice

SEN:  Special educational needs guide - NHS Choices

Special Education Needs - Advice & Support - youngminds.org.uk‎

SEN Code of Practice - DfE

SEN Teacher Home Page ⋆ Special Educational Needs

Free SEN resources

Revolutionising children’s mental health care – Emma Selby

Government backs social project helping disabled people into work

Ambitious new ALN Bill introduced

New law to transform ALN experience in Wales

Councils must have oversight of transition planning for all pupils with SEN, says Ombudsman

Consultation launched on special educational needs provision

Priority school building programme: Essex special school reopens

Special needs expert to head new assessment review

Minister praises interns with special educational needs

What the Welfare State is for

They are valued members of society

At the start of Autism Awareness Week, Minister for Social Services & Public Health, Rebecca Evans, announced additional funding of £7m for the National Integrated Autism Service.  The announcement brings the total amount of funding allocated to supporting autism services in Wales to £13m up to 2021.

Wales is the first part of the UK to create a national service to provide lifetime support to children & adults with autism, and their families.  The innovative service, which will be rolled out across the country by 2018, will provide new adult diagnostic services; support for families & carers; help with transition from child to adult provision and training for professionals.
Researched Links:

WAG:  Extra £7m for innovative all-Wales autism service

New wide range of improved support & care for adults & children with autism

New autism service for Wales to be established

NHS England backs new services to transform care for people with a learning disability and/or autism

CQC sets out updated registration guidance for providers that support people with learning disability services

IPC Programme expands to improve services for millions with complex needs

Government backs social project helping disabled people into work

Sharing lives, improving lives – Fiona Clark

Disabled children almost twice as likely to be the target of crime

Progress towards building the right support for people with a learning disability or autism

Increased mental health services for those arrested

Welcome to my world – Aaron Wood

Sentence reduction for guilty pleas: risks in new guideline

IPCC recommends Sussex Police makes improvements after 11-year-old disabled girl held in cells overnight

Volunteering helps people and helps me too – Aaron Wood

Doctors urged to help stop ‘chemical restraint’ as leading health professionals sign joint pledge

People with a learning disability have a key role – Dr Julie Higgins

Having a job has turned my son’s life around – Trevor Clower

£10m to boost employment prospects of young people with learning disabilities and/or learning difficulties

New NICE quality standard to improve prevention & management of behaviour that challenges in people with learning disabilities

Homes not hospitals’ for people with learning disabilities

Britain must do more to tackle ‘virus of social isolation’ says EHRC

Progress in autistic care in England

Wirral council asked to reconsider school transport decisions for children with special educational needs

Shouldn’t they be looking ahead further than just one year?

Some 'supposed disadvantages' can make them well-suited to specific work environments

Tailor management of autism in children & young people to individual needs

Autism support & information - The National Autistic Society‎

Obesity is increasingly the pathway to diabetes for adults AND children

The Government needs to take more robust action to tackle the impact of deep discounting and price promotions on the sales of unhealthy food and drink, says the Health Committee in its follow up report into childhood obesity.

Given the amount of our food & drink that is purchased on discounts & promotions, the Committee is urging the Government to follow the evidence-based advice to create "a level playing field". It was Industry representatives themselves, when giving evidence to the Committee, who explained that the current Government plans risk being undermined unless there is regulation.   Retailers who act responsibly on discounting & promotions should not be put at a competitive disadvantage to those who do not.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Government is missing important opportunities to tackle childhood obesity

LGA responds to Health Committee report on childhood obesity

DH:  Guidelines on reducing sugar in food published for industry

CRUK:  Recommendations set out for food industry to reduce sugar

WAG:  ‘The Daily Mile’ officially launched in Wales

Make children exercise at school?

Adults need to walk/run a mile a day too!

Children do not need energy intake of rowers

Ways to highlight problem

Equivalent to more than the whole population of Scotland

Making it easier to eat healthily

We cannot afford more diabetics

NHS Chief pledges help for 50,000 more people to tackle rising diabetes levels

Young children still exceeding sugar recommendation

LGA:  Obesity crisis: 500 children suffering Type 2 diabetes is 'wake-up call' for the nation

LGA:  Give councils powers to ban junk food advertising near schools & nurseries, say town halls

5 year olds eat & drink their body weight in sugar every year

Childhood obesity demands bold Government action committee report finds

An opportunity to show just how good you are!
The National Apprenticeship Awards 2017 kicked off last week, when the application site opened for entries.  In its 14th year, the Awards 2017 will search for England’s top apprenticeship employers & apprentices; whilst recognising those individuals that make a significant contribution to apprenticeships.  For those considering entering the 2017 awards - a series of webinars to find out more about the process will be announced shortly.

Skills Funding Agency:  National Apprenticeship Awards 2017

Interested in flood risk in your area
The Environment Agency is looking for enthusiastic applicants from all walks of life to fill vacancies on the South West Regional Flood and Coastal Committee and Anglian Northern Regional Flood and Coastal Committee (RFCC).   Being an RFCC member is an exciting opportunity to help guide local flood & coastal management across the whole region.

EA:  Do you want to make a difference to flood risk in the South West?

EA:  Committee members sought to help shape future flood plans in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire

A ‘tough’ but rewarding career

Graduates across the country are being encouraged to apply to a fast-track programme to become the next generation of child & family social workers.  Applications have opened for Step Up to Social Work, a 14-month programme that combines real-world experience in a local authority social work team with high-quality university training.

This year more than 550 funded places are available to support trainees. After applications close in May, students will start training in January 2018.  Successful candidates will be awarded a postgraduate diploma in social work when they graduate, allowing them to register & practice as a social worker.

Whether you are a recent graduate or someone whose student days are long behind you, this is a fantastic opportunity to begin a new career helping children & families.  We want all young people to be able to go as far as their talents will take them, and part of that is making sure childhood is a happy and safe time in their lives.
Researched Links:

DfE:  Talented graduates wanted for career in social work

Could you be part of that ‘Welcome’?

People across Scotland are being given the chance to volunteer and be the face of the inaugural European Championships in August 2018.  More than 3,000 people will welcome athletes, officials, media & spectators to the new event being staged in Glasgow and across Scotland, as well as Berlin in Germany.  It brings together 7 sports and 4,500 elite athletes over 10 days of action.

People over the age of 16, regardless of their experience & circumstances, will be welcome to apply to become a volunteer and the recruitment process runs from now up until 31 July 2017.
Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Search for volunteers begins

Help protect our honey bees!

The nation’s smartphones are the latest weapon in the fight to prevent the spread of the Asian hornet.  People will be able to use a FREE app - called Asian Hornet Watch - to quickly & easily report possible sightings of the invasive species and send pictures of suspect insects to experts at the National Bee Unit.

While Asian hornets pose no greater risk to human health than a bee, they are a threat to our native honey bees, which is why it is important to quickly contain them.  By using the eyes & ears of smartphone users, we can more quickly identify any Asian hornet nests in the UK and eradicate them before they have the opportunity to spread.

Asian hornets can be distinguished from their native counterparts by their abdomens, which are entirely dark except for a single band of yellow – native hornets’ abdomens are predominantly yellow.
Researched Links:

Defra:  New app to report Asian hornet sightings

Avoid becoming a headline as a future ICO ‘Fine’!

The ICO has launched a new set of resources aimed at improving records management in the health sector.  The resources are based on the ICO’s experiences from those audits.

They include tips & advice that complement existing ICO guidance, as well as practical resources that data protection officers, records managers and information governance specialists can use to help educate colleagues on how to ensure they are operating in line with the Data Protection Act.  The resources include training videos, posters and case studies.  The ICO plans to offer similar sets of resources around other aspects of data protection in the health sector over the coming year.
Researched Links:

ICO:  New resources launched to help health sector

The ‘damage’ will only be recognised in future years

Families with babies & young children in York will bear the brunt of proposed cuts to health visitors & school nurses by the city council, Unite, the union, warned last week.  To alert the 200,000 people covered by the City of York Council as to the extent of the cuts, Unite staged a demonstration at St Helen’s Square, near the Mansion House/Guildhall entrance last week.

The health visitor and school nurse workforce was transferred from the NHS to the council in August 2015 – and now the city council wants to reduce the number of community nurses by about 16%.
Researched Links:

Unite:  Protest in York tomorrow over proposed axe to health visitors and school nurses

When they need Media Consultants to ‘sell’ the concept, one wonders as to the merits of the proposals

While some records are critical / important (child protection, immunisation, etc.)...

Joined-up care in early years

Editorial item:  Public memory dims, but family pain remains; especially for the children

As the headlines revert to Brexit, etc. and the ‘dozens’ of BBC reporters leave the area surrounding the Palace of Westminster, one is reminded that ‘the world goes on’ and, while memories of tragic/shocking events dim in the public’s mind.  Meanwhile, those directly involved through the loss of ‘loved ones’ struggle to cope without a mother, father, brother, sister, etc. and to regain ‘normality’ in their lives.

This is especially true for the partners & children of our armed forces personnel, who not only have lost their partner/father, but also faced the prospect of having to leave their service home & support network on ‘his’ base camp.

A degree of financial support does become available to the widow (in due course), but it is the emotional & mental side of life that can be the real issue.  How does a mother help her young children to ‘move on’ in  a civilian world where ‘civilians’ generally haven’t faced months of absence, intermittent telephonic contact and the ‘fear’ of a knock at the door’ from the base Visiting Officer.  

Some years ago the Families' Activity Breaks (FAB) charity was set up to offer bereaved military families the chance to go on an activity holiday with people who have suffered similar losses.  FAB is a non-public-funded, tri-Service charitable initiative which works in partnership with the Youth Hostel Association to provide bereaved military families with activity-based holidays.

Staffed by volunteers from all 3 Services & civil servants from the MoD, the aim of FAB is to provide bereaved military families with an adventurous yet safe environment in order to encourage self-confidence, resilience & peer support whilst having fun

One mother who has benefited from FAB said:

"For the first time in my entire life I was able to let go of so much emotional baggage that, if they hadn't taken the time to listen to me, I think in the end would have killed me. Slowly from the inside out, I know it sounds dramatic, but FAB and the volunteers saved my neck."

The FAB holidays are for any bereaved military family with a child under the age of 19 years (accompanying older siblings may attend) who has suffered the loss of a serving loved one regardless of where and how the Service person died.

The military & civilian communities have so far been at the forefront of fundraising & donations to allow FAB to carry out its invaluable service, and the need for continuous monetary contributions continues

So if you can remember back to the frequent PM’s announcements at the beginning of PM’s Questions and the sad pictures of the planes landing at Brize Norton, followed by the flag-draped coffins of fallen servicemen & women being met by large crowds who lined the streets (come rain or shine) to pay their respects in the small Wiltshire town of (Royal) Wootton Bassett.

Then perhaps you could consider donating to this charity (Fundraise/Donate) which continues to help families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for us in ‘some foreign field’ and help them to ‘move on’.
Researched Links:

FAB holidays available for bereaved military families

Photos and related links

Notification of a military death | Cruse Bereavement Care

Casualty procedures - British Army Website

The Soldier by Rupert Brooke ~ If I should die, think only this of me ...

MoD:  Improved mail service ensures loved ones can stay in touch


 More contributions following EU Referendum

Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:

Researched Links:

10DS:  PM's Commons statement on triggering Article 50

10DS:  PM to visit Scotland to set out plan for Britain

EHRC:  Great Repeal Bill response

IEA:  The Prime Minister’s letter is measured & conciliatory – perhaps too much so

WWF responds to the triggering of Article 50

CBI: 'Pivotal moment in country's history'

CBI: Continuity & clarity needed to give certainty for businesses

PC&PE:  Crown Dependencies engagement with Brexit report

PC&PE:  Clarity needed on UK access to Digital Single Market post-Brexit

PC&PE:  Brexit and the EU budget report debated by Lords

ScotGov:  EU student status confirmed

ScotGov:  Parliament backs independence referendum

ScotGov:  FM on Article 50

WAG:  FM Carwyn Jones – “We’re committed to a sensible Brexit that secures Wales’ future”

CBI: 'Pivotal moment in country's history'

CBI: Continuity and clarity needed to give certainty for businesses

TUC: Great Repeal Bill hands power over workers’ rights to judges not UK Parliament

EU News:  London Mayor - “We are still going to be part of the European family”

techUK:  Tech Industry Calls for Brexit Negotiations that Secure a Bright Digital Future

CIPD responds to the triggering of Article 50

CAB:  Letter to the PM highlighting the potential impact of Brexit on consumers

NEF:  Brexit can't cure Britain's crisis of control, new poll suggests

Open Europe: Nothing to declare - A plan for UK-EU trade outside the Customs Union

Demos:  Britain’s industries call for Brexit to be underpinned by a vision for economic and social renewal


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

Researched Links:

OSSW:  Landmark day in devolution as powers pass to Welsh Assembly

ScotGov:  Section 30 letter


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

Newsletter Archive

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:
New on the network
The NHS sets leaders up to fail – and then recruits more in the same mould

The NHS sets leaders up to fail – and then recruits more in the same mould
People being hired in management positions don’t have the skills to tackle the health service’s current problems

Trying to help a disabled girl seeking asylum brought my staff to tears

Trying to help a disabled girl seeking asylum brought my staff to tears
Maryam had severe cerebral palsy and her family were in dire need but we couldn’t get support for them

Elsewhere on the Guardian
NHS workers to get 'derisory' 1% pay rise

NHS workers to get 'derisory' 1% pay rise
Cap on salary increases will see some staff earn just £5 extra a week while facing soaring costs and greater 

NHS draws up list of items to be banned from prescriptions

NHS draws up list of items to be banned from prescriptions
NHS also removes medication for upset stomachs, haemorrhoids and erectile dysfunction from list of prescribed items

What we’re reading
• Wraparound care: is it the future of the NHS? – Society Guardian
• The life-saving treatment that’s being thrown in the trash – Mosaic
• NHS confusing public by using 'gobbledygook' – the BBC