Latest news

  • Education Secretary gives green light to two-tier care system
    The Department for Education has today (19 February) published its plans for dealing with unregulated accommodation for children in care. It follows a public consultation launched a year ago after a scathing BBC Newsnight investigation which ran from 2019. A year ago, in response to action from a coroner to prevent future deaths of 16 … Read more
  • Children’s rights legal digest – February 2021
    In December 2020, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) found a local authority at fault for failing to properly assess, plan and support a 15-year-old boy, S, in preparation for and following his release from custody. Inadequate and delayed assessment and planning prevented S’s early release, which unnecessarily extended his time in custody, … Read more
  • Social work and child law experts express their “deep concern” about government’s ‘once-in-a-generation’ review
    A joint letter, signed by 27 organisations and over 100 individuals with substantial experience of children and families social work, has been sent to the Secretary of State for Education today (5 February). The letter raises concerns over the independence of the chair of the recently announced once-in-a-generation review of children’s social care, the review’s … Read more
  • Use of pain-inducing restraint increases in child prisons
    Annual statistics showing the number of children in England and Wales entering prisons and secure children’s homes, and some of their experiences there, have been published today (28 January). These show a significant rise in the overall use of pain-inducing restraint techniques since last year: Up to the year ending March 2020, the thumb flexion, … Read more
  • Children’s rights legal digest – January 2021
    While the Southwark judgment and the resulting statutory guidance clarified the legal duties of local authorities in supporting 16 and 17-year-olds who are homeless, practice remains varied across the country. Last year, research by Just for Kids Law found that many 16 and 17 year-olds continue to be accommodated under Section 17 of the Children … Read more
  • Review of children’s social care launched
    The government has today (15 January) announced the start of its review of children’s social care. Founder and Chief Executive of social work training charity Frontline, Josh MacAlister, has been appointed by the Secretary of State for Education to chair the review. Carolyne Willow, Article 39’s Director, said: “We warmly welcome the review’s confirmation that … Read more
  • Kent Church threatens legal action to protect children from solitary confinement
    A Kent church is calling for the Ministry of Justice to immediately end the illegal solitary confinement of children in Rainsbrook secure training centre otherwise they will seek such protection from the High Court. “Children have been locked in solitary confinement for up to 23½ hours a day. No child should be locked up unlawfully … Read more
  • Education Select Committee holds pre-appointment hearing with government’s preferred candidate for Children’s Commissioner for England
    On Tuesday 15 December at 10am, Parliament’s Education Select Committee will hold a pre-appointment hearing with Dame Rachel de Souza, the government’s preferred candidate for the next Children’s Commissioner for England. This short briefing summarises the statutory role of the Children’s Commissioner for England and the history of its development, particularly highlighting legal duties in … Read more
  • Children’s rights legal digest – December 2020
    It is with great pleasure and a real sense of victory that we dedicate the last issue of our 2020 children’s rights legal digests to our own Court of Appeal win – Article 39 v. Secretary of State for Education. The Court of Appeal found the Secretary of State for Education to have acted unlawfully … Read more
  • Charities call for urgent closure programme for England’s child prisons
    A coalition of charities today (10 December) publishes the case for urgently closing England’s child prisons, warning that they are inflicting irrevocable harm on highly vulnerable children. This harm has been aggravated significantly by the response to COVID-19. The government committed to phasing out child prisons in 2016 but it has not closed a single … Read more