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Children told me in The Big Ask, the largest-ever survey of children, how important it is for them to be heard and taken seriously and to be involved in decisions that affect them.

‘I believe that children should have a voice and that is not taken seriously enough. It’s not only adult who have great ideas as some children have great ideas as well.’ – Boy, 10, The Big Ask.

‘Young people always seem to be left out of the important conversations regarding our future…we are reliant on others making decisions for us.’ – Girl, 16, The Big Ask.

My role is to listen to children and young people’s views and speak up for them, making sure that Government, policy- and decision-makers take their views and interests into account when making decisions.

This week I am excited to launch my inaugural Children’s Advisory Board.

The first year of my Children’s Advisory Board is a pilot with 10 schools across England, chosen to represent the different regions and reflect different backgrounds. This first year is focussing on the transition between primary and secondary school with the board made up of 10-13 year-olds (up to 15-year-olds for children with SEND). In future years the board will be expanded and will cover different age ranges.

Being part of the Board will give children the chance to have their voice heard and play an important part in shaping my work as Children’s Commissioner and effect change for children in England.

Children’s voice matters and it is vital they are heard. Many people, including me and my team, want to hear what children think and the board will offer great insights that we can all learn from. Throughout the year we will share how the board’s thoughts are incorporated into our work and the impact their voice has.

The aim of the Board is to:

For participants we will also provide opportunities and training on a variety of skills, as well as mentoring and shadowing.

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