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Half a million young people respond to ‘Big Ask’ consultation

The Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, says there has been a ‘stunning response’ to her generation-defining survey of children, The Big Ask.

Since its launch principally via social media and schools in April, over 500,000 children and young people from across the whole of the United Kingdom have responded to what is the country’s largest-ever survey of young people.

The aim is to identify the barriers that have, and continue to, prevent children from reaching their full potential, and propose policy and services solutions and develop targets by which improvements can be monitored.

Responses have come in from primary and secondary school students, children growing up in care, children who are home-schooled, and children from wealthy and poor backgrounds, as well as the parents of babies and toddlers and other care-givers.

Dame Rachel (pictured above) gave special thanks to every school and every headteacher who encouraged their pupils and students to take part: “We could not have achieved half a million responses without your support – the goodwill and enthusiasm I’ve had from those working with children has been heartening and inspiring.

“Over the last few weeks I’ve met children with amazing and inspiring ambitions – the anaesthetists, electric car designers, neuroscientists and artists of the future – and I’ve met children who talked to me about identity, poverty, gang violence, equality and aspiration,” she added.

‘Every response we have had makes your voice stronger’

“Most of all, thank you to every child and young person who has taken time to take part. What you have told us will now be at the heart of our Childhood Commission – my once-in-a-generation review of the future of childhood, inspired by the ambition of William Beveridge’s pioneering 1940s report. Every response we have had makes your voice stronger and helps us to identify the barriers preventing children from reaching their full potential, to propose solutions and to come up with targets to monitor improvements.

“When we launched the Big Ask in April, I wanted to make sure we received more submissions than any other survey of children. I also wanted to make sure that the responses we received came from children in all parts of the country, reflecting the many different backgrounds and experiences of childhood in England. On both counts, we have succeeded. But now the real work begins. We need to start turning what children have told us into solutions and policies that are practical and deliverable, and which will be implemented by politicians, so that we can achieve tangible change and give every child in England the chance to be well, do well and thrive,” added Dame Rachel.

Click here for more on The Big Ask, where you can also sign up to receive updates on its results.

Author: Simon Weedy

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