School Uniforms for September

The cost of school uniforms can be high, especially if your child is changing schools, or is growing like a weed. The Support in Cornwall website has produced a list of places where school uniform could be purchased more cheaply, as Cornwall Council does not provide a school uniforms grant.

See the Support in Cornwall website for more information.

There is also a section devoted to free and cheap activities for July, Accessible activities locally, and outdoor fun for the summer holiday as well.


How old is ‘old enough’ to be left at home alone?

After a few news items recently about children being left alone at home, and parents prosecuted, we dug this up on the BBC website, which gives some advice regarding the ‘how old is old enough’ question.

Basically, the law does not explicitly state an age.  It does say that children must not be neglected or abandoned “in a manner likely to cause [them] unnecessary suffering or injury to health”. However, whether a child is safe to be left alone depends on the child, and the circumstances.

Leaving a playing 5-year-old for 2 minutes to pop next door to borrow some tea bags might be OK for some 5-year-olds, and not for others.  Leaving a 11-year-old for 30 minutes to collect an undelivered parcel from the Post Office might be OK for some, but not others.

The NSPCC’s advice on the subject can be found on their website. These are the highlights:

  • Babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone
  • Children under the age of 12 are rarely mature enough to cope in an emergency and should not be left at home alone for a long period of time
  • Children under the age of 16 should not be left alone overnight
  • Parents and carers can be prosecuted for neglect if it is judged that they placed a child at risk by leaving them at home alone
  • A child should never be left at home alone if they do not feel comfortable with this, regardless of their age
  • If a child has additional needs, these should be considered when leaving them at home alone or with an older sibling
  • When leaving a younger child with an older sibling, think about what may happen if they were to have a falling out – would they both be safe?


Speech therapists – postcode lottery

A new report has said that the availability of speech therapists for children varies enormously across the country. Between 85,000 and 90,000 children aged 2-6 are referred for support with speech and language in the UK.  The top 25% of areas in England spend at least £291.66 per child, where the bottom £25% spend £30.94 or less per year per child.

See the BBC website for an article on the report, and the Children’s Commissioner’s website for the full report.


Sure Start centres facing cuts

Sure Start centres across the country are facing financial cuts, despite research showing the benefits of the services that they provide.

The centres provide parents with information and advice about health, education, childcare and employment, particularly in disadvantaged areas. The provision of Sure Start centres “significantly reduced” the incidence of children going to hospital up to the age of 11, says the study, which looked at the impact on health.

Read the full story on the BBC website.



Warnings have been issued around the online game Roblox, after cases where children have been groomed while playing the game.  Roblox is an online multi-player game, marketed at children, and has the usual safeguards around preventing children messaging through the game, to protect them.  However, in the reported cases, a third-party app (not approved or sanctioned by the makers of Roblox) has been used.

Find out more on the BBC website, including what to watch out for, and what action to take if you are worried.