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'The Big Ask' Survey - Children in England to have their say on Childhood

View profile for Julia Shaikh
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From April to May 2021, millions of children in England told the Government what their childhoods should look like in the largest consultation undertaken in England.

‘The Big Ask’ survey was led by the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel De Souze. The purpose of the survey was to look at the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on children’s lives. The Footballer, Marcus Rashford supported the project and held an online assembly for the children to explain the purpose of the project.

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This was a 6-week anonymous survey, which was available to schools, youth groups, charities and other children’s organisations. In the survey, the children answered questions such as how happy they were about aspects of their lives, what they thought stopped them from achieving, and what they would like to achieve as adults.

‘The Big Ask’ project was inspired by the 1942 Beveridge Report, which laid the foundations for the welfare state and was commissioned by the Liberal economist Sir William Beveridge, commissioned by the wartime coalition government to examine how Britain should rebuild after World War 2. The report paved the way for major reforms including the creation of the NHS. The results of the 2021 ‘The Big Ask’ survey will inform experts of the barriers children face and set targets to monitor improvements.

Rachel de Souza (Children’s Commissioner for England);

“This has been a year like no other for children. The sacrifices they have made are enormous, like not seeing friends and family, having to learn remotely, and missing out on the things that children love to do outside school. Some are also coping with bereavement. I visited a school in April where thirty of the children had lost a close relative to COVID-19. For some children, this pandemic has been a life-changing event.

This work is being driven by the views of children themselves. Thanks to the support of schools, our survey ‘The Big Ask’ has received hundreds of thousands of responses from children and I have been travelling around the country visiting schools to hear about children’s experiences of the pandemic and their hopes for the future.

We can now go to Government and to others who provide services for children and say: this is what children are telling us they want from adults, now put them top of your agenda. I am optimistic that the blueprint we provide can inspire all our politicians to think about children when they are making decisions on spending, on poverty, on education reform”

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Here at Johnson Astills we have a lot of involvement with children and young people in both our specialist Family, Care and Criminal Teams. If you, or anyone that you know, needs assistance in relation to their children please get in touch on 0116 255 4855.