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Lost in Transition

22 February 2024

When I became Children’s Commissioner, one of the first things I did was to conduct a nationwideinquiry into the educational experiences of children leaving state education. These children had fallenoff the radar during the pandemic. Local authorities confided that they did not know where they hadgone or how to support them to reengage in education. […]

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Digital playgrounds – Children’s views on gaming

8 January 2024

Part of the statutory role of the Children’s Commissioner is to consider the views and interests of children. Both are important parts of my role, but sometimes they can be in competition. Listening to children is a principle I hold incredibly tight, but I can see that listening uncritically to children’s views on certain issues […]

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Children’s Commissioner’s response to the Jay Review

22 December 2023

The following is a written response by the Children’s Commissioner’s office (CCo) to The Jay Review of Child Criminal Exploitation, launched by Action for Children and chaired by Professor Alexis Jay OBE. The Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, has a statutory independent role to protect and promote the rights of children in England and […]

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The state of children and young people’s advocacy services in England

19 December 2023

Every child should feel that their voice is heard, and their wishes and feelings are taken into account by the adults that care for them. At the heart of all my work as Children’s Commissioner are the voices of children. I hear directly from children about their experiences of their home life, school, their friendships, […]

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Unaccompanied children in need of care

29 November 2023

As Children’s Commissioner, I have a duty to promote and protect the rights of all children. But I have a particular duty, and feel a profound responsibility, towards those who are not living with their own families. This includes the children who have arrived here unaccompanied, fleeing war and persecution in their home countries. The […]

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Children’s Commissioner’s briefing on the Victims and Prisoner’s Bill

27 November 2023

The Children’s Commissioner strongly welcomes the Victims and Prisoners Bill, which is a critical opportunity tostrengthen children’s rights to safety and justice. Child victims are among the most vulnerable – too oftenexcluded from a justice process designed with adults in mind, and overlooked when it comes to specialist supportto recover. While it is the ultimate […]

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Homeless 16- and 17-year olds in need of care

16 November 2023

Every child deserves a safe and loving home – either with their own family or, if that is not possible, in a stable, caring alternative. As Children’s Commissioner, I have heard from children across the country, including in my recent independent Family Review about just how central a loving home is for every child to […]

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Help at Hand annual report 2023

14 November 2023

As the Children’s Commissioner for England, my statutory duty, as set out in the Children Act 2004, is to promote and protect the rights of all children, with particular regard to children who are living away from home or receiving social care services. In 2014, under section 2D of Act, the Commissioner’s powers were extended […]

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Missing Children, Missing Grades

2 November 2023

Since becoming Children’s Commissioner, I have made tackling school absences one of my top priorities. I first came into this role in March 2021, after 30 years of experience in education as a multi-academy trust leader and headteacher. The nation was emerging from successive lockdowns and children’s education had been immensely disrupted. I sensed that […]

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‘We all have a voice’: Disabled children’s vision for change

6 October 2023

Earlier this year, I was delighted to be commissioned by the Cabinet Office’s Disability Unit to explore in-depth the lives, experiences and needs of disabled children in England. Through this work I am keen to inform the Unit’s forthcoming Disability Action Plan. Since then, my team and I have spoken to children, young people, parents […]

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Whistleblowing Report 2022-23

28 September 2023

The Children’s Commissioner is named in the Prescribed Persons Order 2014 as someone to whom whistle-blowers can raise concerns relating to the rights, welfare and interests of children. Whistle-blowing arrangements offer a framework of protection against victimisation or dismissal for workers who blow the whistle on criminal behaviour or other wrongdoing. The Children’s Commissioner’s role […]

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The Children’s Commissioner’s response to ‘Youth vaping: call for evidence’

9 June 2023

I want all children to be able to grow up physically and mentally well, with access to support quickly and locally when they need it. As part of The Big Ask, I asked children about all aspects of their health and wellbeing. I was shocked and concerned to hear from children as young as 12 […]

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