Helping parents and children to get ready for school

by Helen Victoria Smith

Making sure children have the right opportunities for learning and development in their earliest years so they can be ‘school-ready’ has been a key part of successive UK governments’ approaches to raising educational achievement and promoting economic progress. But concerns around large numbers of children arriving at school without the skills they need to succeed have been steadily growing.

Based on a study in a small town in the East Midlands, my research revealed how mothers of children under five and early years’ professionals understood the concept of ‘school readiness’ and how this shaped what they did. Continue reading

Why does post-mortem matter? The difficult case of baby-loss

by Kate Reed

This week (14-20 May) is Dying Matters Awareness Week. And, it is currently estimated by the NHS that one in six pregnancies in the UK will, sadly, end in miscarriage. According to official data (PDF) 3,245 stillbirths and 1,381 neonatal deaths were recorded in 2014.

Post-mortem can often contribute to a better understanding of the underlying causes of death in such cases. But, in evidence submitted as part of a parliamentary debate on baby loss in 2016, low rates of consent for post-mortem were identified as a cause for concern.

Therefore, understanding how to support parents effectively around decision-making about post-mortem is important for reducing incidences of baby-loss. Continue reading