Science, social justice or simply cool - what is going on at the moment and why should we care?
Food parcel shared by parent on Twitter supposedly worth £30
Many of you will have heard about footballer Marcus Rahsford campaigning for free school meals. The petition received over 1 million signatures and the scheme has been extended as a consequence of his efforts.
In light of school closures due to lockdown measures, the option of vouchers worth £30 or food parcels (outsourced to a private company) has been made available. However, images of these parcels have circulated on social media showing their meagre contents. There has, understandably, been general outcry in response to this and investigations are ongoing.
In addition to sharing this with you, we at Creative Tuition would like to highlight the desperate need that food banks are in due to the current pandemic. Food poverty exacerbates other social oppressions and disproportionately affects marginalised communities.
A couple of reminders: studying hungry will reduce learning. Students living in low income households are likely to have less time to study as they may be working additional hours to support themselves and/or their families. Anyone striving for equality in education must support the need to end food poverty.
An easy option: Use the app Bankuet to donate money and they will supply food banks directly with the items most required at the time.
NHS wins right to appeal High Court puberty blockers ruling
In December 2020 a High Court ruling deemed under 16s unable to consent to medical treatment associated with gender dysphoria (for example, puberty blockers). There are a lot of details within this, but to summarise: the only way that under 16s can now receive such treatments is via a court order. Additionally, the NHS has ordered a review for those currently receiving this treatment. That means those who are currently taking puberty blockers will be taken off this treatment (unless kept on by court order).
The article we've linked here discusses the appeal that the Gender Identity and Development Service (GIDS) of The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust are putting forward.
Denying trans youth healthcare such as this is dangerous and will seriously affect the mental health of many. It's also worth noting that further medical support typically associated with transgender patients is already age-restricted. For example, gender-affirming surgery (you may have heard of 'top' or 'bottom' surgery) is currently unavailable to under 18s in the UK. Therefore the supply of puberty blockers to under 16s would not lead to more permanent medical interventions before this point.
Further reading: Stonewall statement, opinion piece by a social worker with a medical background.
In an important first step towards securing rights for gender non-comforning (GNC) and non-binary individuals, this ruling provides some protections under the 2010 Equality Act against discrimination related to gender identity.
Jaguar Land Rover made the disappointing defense that discriminatory actions had not occurred as gender reassignment protections only exist in a FTM/MTF (female-to-male/male-to-female) format (sigh, shakes head).
As the recent review of the Gender Recognition Act failed to even begin to address the hardships faced by trans and GNC people today (read: they said no to pretty much any admendments supported by LGBTQIA+ charities and activists), we at Creative Tuition are excited to see some progress in the UK courts in this area despite this.
UK Landmark Ruling on the protection of non-binary and genderfluid people
Should mental health be taught in schools?
We really like this article written by Alfie Hughes - a student - on the importance of mental health in schools.
Alfie themselves currently going through the challenges of the educational system is a great reminder of why we need to involve school goers in conversations regarding mental health in schools.
Far too often has the conversation been had on the merit of providing mental health support to children in school without consultation of the children we are hoping to have an impact on.
There are many great points made in this article. We particularly like the stressing of there being a wider scope of mental health support available, not just to the kids that are deemed to need it or ask for it. Mental health education should be for all pupils in order for it to be universally valuable, to decrease stigma, to raise awareness in children, to make them understand that what they or their friends may be going through and that it is ok to ask for help and to talk openly about mental health issues.
Photo by Paul Blakemore