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Children’s Commissioner launches ‘Beveridge Report for children’

Dame Rachel de Souza, the new Children's Commissioner for England, has launched a 'once-in-a-generation' review of the future of childhood.

'The Childhood Commission' will be inspired by the ambition of William Beveridge's pioneering 1940s report, which laid the foundations of the post-War social security system. 'The Childhood Commission' will identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their full potential, propose policy and services solutions and develop targets by which improvements can be monitored.

The Commission will not only focus on the problems that have been highlighted and amplified by the Covid pandemic but will also address the policy shortfalls that have held back the lives of many children for decades. At its heart will be 'The Big Ask' – the largest consultation ever held with children in England. The Children's Commissioner will ask children how the pandemic changed their lives for better or worse, what their aspirations are and the barriers to reaching them, how things are at home, how their communities and local environment could be improved, and how they feel about the future and the challenges facing the world.

'The Big Ask' consultation will take place after the Easter break. An online survey will be distributed to all schools, posted on the Oak National Academy, and advertised via social media, child-facing charities and other communications channels. To reach children outside mainstream settings, it will be sent directly to youth custody organisations, CAMHS inpatient units and children's homes. Face-to-face interviews and focus groups will be conducted with children who are under-represented and harder to reach. This consultation will drive the subsequent phases of the Commission.

The Children's Commissioner will publish an interim report before the summer, setting out children's expectations and aspirations, and the barriers to attaining them, informed by the results of the consultation, an evidence review and data analysis. A subsequent report will propose solutions, investment, metrics, and set out the challenge to society to pay back to this generation of children and re-set their future.

For the full announcement, click here.