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Younger voices feel sidelined during the pandemic
An NI Youth Forum survey asked young people about their experiences of, and thoughts about, lockdown. It highlights concerns about mental health and education – and about not being listened to.
Education relies on pupils’ mental health
Local children will soon be back at school. Catching up on education is vital – but so is pupils’ mental health. Scope looks at a new report from Barnardo’s NI that gathered evidence from teachers and other education staff.
Northern Ireland is failing children with special educational needs
The Covid-19 pandemic has drawn attention away from the ongoing crisis of SEN provision in the education system. There is no easy fix.
Childcare is infrastructure - investment is essential
The Executive has plenty on its plate but now is the time to look at childcare in Northern Ireland.
A changing world is daunting for parents
We look at Parenting NI’s second annual Big Parenting Survey, which explored concerns about tech – and asked parents about their hopes for their children.
Autism petition approaches 10,000 signatures
Autism NI is calling for mandatory autism training for all teachers in Northern Ireland –organising a petition they will present at Stormont next month. Scope speaks with CEO Kerry Boyd.
What can’t we afford? How economic inequality is about more than paying bills
If wealth, rather than ability, drives educational achievement, we have to think hard about how we structure society to compensate for this.
Global goals lack local focus
The UN Sustainable Development Goals are nearly four years old. High-level strategies for the world (or 193 UN member nations) to build a “better and more sustainable future”. Too few people know what they are.
Back to the drawing board for sustainable transport to school
Efforts are underway to change transport habits in Northern Ireland – but they might not be working. Scope looks at the annual school transport figures.
Employability programmes can transform lives and communities
The European Social Fund has committed £200m to NI for employability schemes – including Start360’s Switch onto Employment. The organisation tells Scope that ESF’s post-Brexit replacement cannot be half hearted.
The Justice Department wants your views on how best to beat internet grooming and child abuse
How justice agencies and the law tackle online child sexual exploitation is evolving. Common availability of the internet is only about 20 years old – while the reach and nature of usage has changed massively in the last decade.
Quality of life is easy to understand but difficult to pin down
Reform is possible in NI, even without a government. Officials last week published a paper seeking to understand what is meant by “quality of life” – with the ultimate aim of improving the lot of adults and children with disabilities.
Improving mental health outcomes will tell us a lot about society
This could prove to be a good week for mental health provision in Northern Ireland. Maybe. Not just because of more money for services - the City Deal could help, too. And it might have to.
Smacking children leads to a more violent society
In Northern Ireland, parents are still allowed to use corporal punishment as long as it is "reasonable chastisement". New research suggests this leads to more violence among young people than if it was banned outright.
Over-medication is a symptom of our failing children's mental health service
Other services have huge waiting lists but prescribing drugs to treat mental health problems takes very little time. Given the sector's fundamental lack of resources, an over-reliance on medication is unsurprising - but it needs to stop.