School is a core pillar of my work as Children’s Commissioner following ‘The Big Ask’, which was the largest-ever survey of children. This survey demonstrated how important school and teachers are to children, and that school is the place they want to receive support if they need it. Children explained the importance of being in a nurturing and supportive environment for them to thrive in their futures.
As one child I spoke to said, “People don’t realise how much education is important for life in general. […] if they don’t learn in school, they might not be able to enjoy life to the fullest” – Girl, 14.
After so much online learning, children in England – vulnerable children, especially – care passionately about being able to go to school again. They find school challenging but fulfilling. And overwhelmingly, they like school. Including those who need additional support, with those who need that, and receive it in school, being happier than the overall cohort.
Another child told me, “I really want to learn even if it’s hard because education is important to me” – Girl, 11.
My work within this pillar will involve helping all children to succeed in school, particularly those with additional needs, and monitoring closely the implementation of the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Green Paper. As well as making sure every child leaves primary school being able to read and write.