The Children’s Commissioner for England

Rachel de Souza

The Children’s Commissioner for England is Dame Rachel de Souza.

As Children’s Commissioner I take on a crucial role, sitting at the heart of Government, delivering for children, and championing their voices and needs. As an educationalist, working directly with children in schools throughout my career, I have seen first-hand how passionate and compassionate children are. This is an ambitious generation who want to succeed in life, but who also want to play their part in improving the world around them. They need us, as adults, to listen to them and ensure they get the right help to fulfil their true potential.

My priority has always been to listen to children across the country, to hear about their lives and the impact of lockdown, to help shape my time as Children’s Commissioner. That’s why in 2021, I launched The Big Ask, a survey of children in England. I’m incredibly proud and awed by the response that I received from children. With over a half-a-million responses this was the largest-ever survey of children. Children up and down the country told us about their experiences of the pandemic, their lives today, their dreams for the future and their ideas for how we can help children in this country achieve their ambitions. I am particularly proud that, through the survey, our visits and focus groups we heard about the experiences of children of all ages, including babies and toddlers; children from all local authorities, and children from hard-to-reach groups, including children in care.

The Big Ask showed that this is not a snowflake generation – it is a heroic generation, veterans of the pandemic, determined to get back to school, to enjoy life, to do well and to make a difference for others. I want to spend my six years in office helping them to achieve these dreams and protecting children’s rights, this is what has helped shaped my Business Plan. And you can see the office’s work laid out by the key priorities children told me they care about: Family, Community, School, Health, Jobs and skills, Children’s social care and Better world.