The Queen’s Speech
Commenting on the Queen’s speech, Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England said:
“The new Government has the opportunity to truly commit to improving the lives of all children in England over the next five years. Some of the announcements made in today’s Queen’s will contribute to doing so and some are likely to do the opposite.
“I have asked the Prime Minister to lead an ambitious five-year vision for children and childhood across Government with an action plan and delivery programme to truly fulfil his pre-Election promise to make this country the best place in Europe in which to grow up and I continue to do so.
“I welcome the commitment to providing families where all parents are working, an entitlement to 30 hours free childcare per week for three and four year olds for 38 weeks of the year. I also welcome measures to protect children from extremism, to provide faster intervention in failing schools and to increase adoption across local authority boundaries. Other measures which will benefit children include closing the loophole regarding live streaming of child sexual abuse and tackling the scourge of legal highs.
“I welcome the commitment to strengthening the child protection system but am concerned that introducing a new offence may not be the best way to achieve this. I am also concerned that extending the benefits cap will push many thousands more children into poverty. Of course, as I have a legal duty to promote and protect children’s rights I will passionately defend any changes to the Human Rights Act that may damage children’s rights.”