12th January 2023

The Children’s Commissioner reflects on her January Advisory Board

Earlier this week I was delighted to spend time with my Advisory Board, our first meeting of the new year. It’s always great to take time out of the busy day to reflect on the larger issues & challenges facing children and what we can do to support them.

Listening to children is a core part of my role as Children’s Commissioner. When I first came into role I conducted The Big Ask, the largest-ever survey of children, with over half a million responses. Meeting with the Advisory Board and updating them on the office’s work is an opportunity for them to hear about all the work the office is doing to deliver for children. On the Board are a range of experts in the children’s sector, who contribute their expertise and knowledge.

This Advisory Board, we heard from Shammi Rahman, Race Equality Advisory, HFL Education, and an old pupil of mine. She spoke about her experiences on race and equality. I know the whole Board found it hugely informative, and we would all like to pass on her thanks to her for giving such a personal account of her experiences.

Alongside this, the Advisory Board were also updated on the work of our Independent Family Review Part 2. This was published just before Christmas, speaking about the importance of family and parenting. This Review had unique, brand-new analysis, showing just how important parents are to their children’s outcomes, happiness and wellbeing.

I’d like to say a huge thanks to Tim Coulson who is standing down as Chair of my Advisory Board after 18 months. Whilst he will be remaining a member of the board, I am incredibly grateful for all the support he has given me in his role as Chair since I took up the post of Children’s Commissioner. He will be replaced as Chair by Paul Hewitt, who has been a member of the Board for 3 years. I am excited to work with him to improve the lives and outcomes of children.

I look forward to another exciting year in the Children’s Commissioner’s office, as we continue to deliver against a broad range of objectives to make sure we are doing all we can to improve children’s lives.