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The children and youth sector should act now in shaping, designing and influencing a cross-Government national strategy, the Children’s Commissioner for England Anne Longfield OBE has said.

Delivering a speech at the Ambition UK conference in Manchester on Tuesday, she said the sector had a vital part to play:

“We all have a duty to help young people flourish and we all have a part to play in being ambitious for children.

“With young people at risk of having the worst economic prospects for a generation, the issue of poverty, inequality and improving social mobility for young people must be a priority.”

The annual conference, entitled ‘2020 Vision for Young People’, brings together representatives from youth organisations and other sector guests. The event was attended by former Children’s Minister Tim Laughton and Mark Fisher, Director of the Office for Civil Society and the Government Innovation Group.

“From Government we need a national stock-take of investment and commitments for children from across all government departments, and a collective response of what we want for and expect from young people today and for the future,” added Anne Longfield.

“This should be underpinned by a national children’s test with assessment to ensure the best interests of children are taking into account when all policy is made. The Autumn Statement later this month could provide a benchmark for that work.”

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