In September, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, launched The Big Summer Survey as part of the independent Family Review. We had a huge response, with over 15,800 children from over 800 schools across England responding to the survey.
Part 1 of the Family Review defined, for the first time, what is so important about family, its protective effect and how it can insulate family from challenges. Research conducted by the Children’s Commissioner’s office showed that strong and lasting relationships are key to family life as well as relying on each other, and spending time together. Part 1 also examined what services are available to families, and what benefit they get from them. Part 2 of the Review will focus further on services and examine family life through the lens of groups of children and families with specific needs.
Findings from The Big Summer Survey will feed into Part 2 of the Review as a national conversation with children in England, to provide insight into this time in children’s lives and who they would turn to for support with family life. Until now, relatively little is known at the national-level about how children spend their summer holidays, who they spend their time with and which activities they enjoy outside of term time.
These findings will help us to understand where children and families would like to receive support, to inform a redesign of family services networks and explore how services can adapt to meet the needs of children and families.