12th May 2015

Children’s Commissioner urges new Government to focus on children

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England today urged the Government to put the welfare of and aspiration for children at the heart of its work. Commenting on the appointment of the new Cabinet and Ministerial teams, Anne Longfield said:

“The Conservative party made a number of commitments to children in its Election manifesto. It is vital that the Government now takes the opportunity it has with a majority in Parliament to develop and deliver a truly coherent vision for England’s 12 million children which places their interests at its very heart and makes their welfare a top priority over the next five years.

The Prime Minister has said that he wants to make Britain the best place to grow up in in Europe and I would like to see this vision achieved. That is why today I am asking the Government to mark the beginning of their term in office by committing to:

  • agreeing an ambitious five-year vision for children with a cross-Government action plan and delivery programme led by the Prime Minister,
  • making radical improvements to children’s health and wellbeing throughout the course of this Government,
  • reviewing children’s services by the Autumn and agreeing a cross-Government improvement plan which delivers a vastly improved child protection system and far better outcomes for all children in care or in receipt of social care services and in the youth justice or asylum systems,
  • implementing the Family Test and extending it to a Children’s Test to measure and report on the impact on children of all proposed legislation and policies,
  • renewing the commitment to dramatically reducing child poverty and announce a plan for children in the poorest areas by the Autumn,
  • making a commitment to move to early intervention and prevention over the next five years to reduce future crises for children and their families,
  • committing to making the education system fairer so that all children have the same educational opportunities and the gap between the educational outcomes of the richest and poorest pupils is narrowed.”