The biggest-ever consultation with children in England is being launched today with an online school assembly featuring England football star Marcus Rashford MBE.
The survey, called The Big Ask, will give children across England the chance to tell “the people in power” what they need and what is holding them back as the country moves out of the Covid pandemic.
It’s the brainchild of England's children’s commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, who is asking for teachers’ support in getting pupils to answer the survey, which is available to every school in England, with schools encouraged to use it during classes and assemblies.
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The results will help to form a report entitled The Childhood Commission, which aims to emulate the famous 1942 Beveridge report (which laid the foundations of the country's welfare state) in that it will be designed to address policy shortfalls holding back the lives of children.
Marcus Rashford: 'A great chance for children to have their say'
Dame Rachel said: “What children tell us will be at the heart of my Childhood Commission and ‘Beveridge-style’ blueprint for government and others to tackle some of the generational problems that have held back too many children for decades.
“It’s time to give something back to children after the huge sacrifices they have made during the Covid pandemic.
“The Big Ask will ask millions of children in England to tell us what life is like for them, what their hopes and ambitions are, and what is holding them back.
“I hope that every parent and carer, every teacher and anyone who works with children will encourage children to take part in this big, exciting opportunity.
"I want The Big Ask to be the biggest survey of children ever carried out in this country so that we can better understand what children want from the people in power and those who make decisions about their lives.”
Meanwhile, Dame Rachel and Marcus Rashford each appear in a YouTube video launching The Big Ask.
Mr Rashford says: "It's a great chance for you guys to have your say...and speak on what you feel should happen next...it's a brilliant way to express yourselves."
The survey is available here and can also be watched via the Oak National Academy website.
It comes in four different versions aimed at children in the age groups 4-5, 6-8, 9-12 and 13-17, each of which has been designed to be appropriate and engaging for that age group and has already been piloted with children.
There will also be two "easy read" accessible versions for children aged 6-8 and 9-17, as well as a version for care leavers aged 18-plus.
The survey, which runs for a month, is completely anonymous and does not ask children to submit any information that could identify them. Some FAQs can be accessed here.