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Biggest ever consultation with children in England launched by the Children’s Commissioner

On 19 April Dame Rachel de Souza, Children's Commissioner for England, launched 'The Big Ask', the biggest ever consultation with children undertaken in this country.  The survey will run until 19 May and will ask children across England to set out their priorities for improving childhood post-Covid. The results of the survey will form the cornerstone of the Children's Commissioner's 'Childhood Commission' – an ambitious Beveridge-style report due to be published later this year.

'The Big Ask' will be made available to every school in England, with schools encouraged to use it during classes and assemblies. It will also be available via the Oak National Academy. The survey will be accompanied by an online assembly introduced by England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford.

The results from 'The Big Ask' will be at the heart of the Childhood Commission which, the Children's Commissioner says, will be a once in a generation review of the future of childhood, 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 solutions and come up with targets by which improvements can be monitored.

'The Big Ask' will be online until 19 May and available to any child who can access the internet. It will also be made available to organisations and services working with children including schools, youth groups, local authorities, charities who work with children and young people, Children in Care Councils, children's homes, children's mental health services, youth justice settings, community groups and others.

The survey is completely anonymous and does not ask children to submit any directly identifiable information. Some of the survey questions are available below in the notes to editors.

To ensure that the experiences of babies and pre-school children are captured, the Children's Commissioner will be running focus groups with different communities and groups of children, which will include talking to parents and carers. There will also be focus groups for children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities or other complex needs.

As part of 'The Big Ask', Rachel de Souza will also be visiting schools to speak with children about their experiences of the pandemic and to hear about their hopes for the future. The tour will include visits to schools in Bedfordshire, Cumbria, Yorkshire, Norfolk, the Midlands, the South West and London.

To access the Big Ask, click here.