Video games are stunting children's imagination and inhibiting their ability to play together.This rather concerning issue came to light in research we conducted for Toby's Travelling Circus, our new television programme for under-fives. The study found that children who play with computer games are less likely to play with other children or to turn household objects, such as cardboard boxes, into toys.
Designed to give the UK's most disadvantaged children an academic boost, the pupil premium is a £1.25bn allowance to be spent on disadvantaged students: those eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) and children of members of the armed services. It is an excellent initiative that has the potential to genuinely improve the academic attainment of tens of thousands of children.
In Ivory Coast, word of mouth is still the major form of communication for mums-to-be. Many issues are similar to the UK: interference from the mother-in-law seems to be universal and women tend to gossip and share horror stories. Like disease, rumours can spread fast and seem unstoppable. In Ivory Coast, their destructive path is paved by traders, women who visit villages on market day and set up stalls to buy, sell and gossip. Ivory Coast is a volatile country, having recently emerged from civil war.
A survey of social workers published in Community Care today, in partnership with the NSPCC, reveals that just one in 10 were confident that children suffering neglect were being properly protected.
Making nature part of children's everyday experience is a simple and effective way of plugging them into the world around them. Children are naturally inquisitive and love to explore; it's about getting them hooked and excited about the simple things. It could be about watching ants marching to their nests, snails clinging to a wall or birds singing in a tree.
Behind the rows of gleaming suited photos lies the real story of Party Conference season. In the uniformed ranks of colour-coded allegiance - a yellow tie this week, a red one next, a true blue one a week later still - are the million stories of all our years at school. From satchels to red boxes, Tupperware lunch boxes to hospitality buffets... the types are there.