Weekly political news round up – 25th April 2014

April 25, 2014 in News by Whitehouse

Around the sector

Children and Young People Now has reported that early years experts, including Melian Mansfield, chair of the Early Childhood Forum and Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, have written to all three main political leaders arguing that the wellbeing of young children could be compromised if the government continues to advocate a “developmentally inappropriate practice” to early years education. The complaints follow an increasing emphasis by the Department for Education on formal academic learning in early years settings.

BBC News has reported that the National Union of Teachers have used their conference to increase the focus on formal learning and assessment within early years settings which they claim is putting “undue pressure” on young children. Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers (NUT) said the current focus on testing ignores young children’s social and emotional needs, setting them up to fail within education at an early age.

Baroness Morris of Yardley, who was Education Minister under Tony Blair, has written in the Guardian that the debate over how best to educate under-fives has become too polarised, with the Department for Education feeling that children should be better prepared for school, and early years experts and teaching unions believing that children should not be pushed into formal education too early. She argued that a middle ground should be sought that combines both views.

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence launches consultation on nocturnal enuresis quality standard

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published the draft quality standard for nocturnal enuresis in children and young people. NICE quality standards are designed to drive measurable quality improvements within a particular area of health or care where a need has been identified.

In identifying the need for this particular quality standard, NICE have recognised that nocturnal enuresis, or bedwetting, is a “widespread and distressing condition that can have a deep impact on a child or young person’s behaviour, emotional wellbeing and social life”. The definition of nocturnal enuresis in this quality standard mirrors that used in the NICE clinical guideline on nocturnal enuresis, which was published in 2010. In this definition, nocturnal enuresis is a term used to describe the symptom of involuntary wetting during sleep and without any inherent suggestion of frequency of bedwetting or pathophysiology.

NICE believes that this quality standard will contribute to improvements in the quality of life for children, young people and their families and carers, as well as the psychological wellbeing of children, young people and their families and carers.

There are three draft quality statements, which state that:

  • Children and young people (aged 5-18 years) who are bedwetting have an initial assessment that includes their bedwetting pattern, daytime symptoms, fluid intake, toileting pattern and any physical, social, emotional or developmental issues.
  • Children and young people (aged 5-18 years), and their parents and carers if appropriate, have a discussion about initial treatment with an alarm or desmopressin when bedwetting has not improved after changing their daily routine.
  • Children and young people (aged 5-18 years) whose bedwetting has not responded to treatment with an alarm or desmopressin or both are referred for a specialist paediatric continence review.

The consultation asks for views on two questions:

  1. Does this draft quality standard accurately reflect the key areas for quality improvement?
  2. If the systems and structures were available, do you think it would be possible to collect the data for the proposed quality measures?