Latest news

  • 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
  • COURT OF APPEAL RULES EDUCATION SECRETARY ACTED UNLAWFULLY IN REMOVING SAFEGUARDS FOR CHILDREN IN CARE
    In a judgment given today (24 November), the Court of Appeal has unanimously declared that the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson, acted unlawfully in failing to consult the Children’s Commissioner for England and other children’s rights organisations before making “substantial and wide-ranging” [79] changes to legal protections for England’s 78,000 children in care. Giving the leading judgment, Lord … Read more
  • New report calls for urgent action to protect children’s rights in mental health settings
    The number of children with a significant mental health problem, such as depression, anxiety or an eating disorder, has increased dramatically over the past three years, and for many this has worsened as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Each year over 3,500 children go to hospital because they do not receive the care they … Read more
  • Children’s rights legal digest – November 2020
    In late October, a High Court judge granted permission for a judicial review concerning the duties of local authorities towards children who are awaiting an age assessment. The case, brought on behalf of three children, centres on whether the local authority in question was trying to “side-step their duties” by failing to accommodate them under … Read more
  • Children’s rights legal digest – October 2020
    This month we take a closer look at the needs of children and young people in care in connection with their immigration status or nationality. It is estimated that there are over 200,000 undocumented children in the UK – children living without ‘leave’ (permission) to remain, many of whom were born here – and over … Read more
  • Children’s rights legal digest – September 2020
    This month we share some of the key takeaways from a recent significant Court of Appeal judgment which confirmed that the principles set out in the Children Act 1989 continue to apply and must inform decisions about contact between children in care and their families during the Covid-19 pandemic. We also reference a couple of … Read more