Northampton primary schools encourage pupils to take part in survey on how to improve childhood post-Covid

'It is vitally important that we listen to children and give them a forum to speak to us to help us understand them better'

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 4:57 pm

Two Northampton primary schools have been encouraging their pupils to participate in a 'once-in-a-generation' survey on how to improve childhood post-Covid.

The Big Ask has been launched by Children’s Commissioner Rachel de Souza to give young people aged from four to 17 an opportunity to have a say in the future.

Briar Hill Primary School and The Arbours Primary Academy held assemblies this week showcasing the consultation and talked about it in class.

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The Arbours Primary Academy head teacher Angela Watts (left) and Briar Hill Primary School head teacher Janey Cooksley have been encouraging their pupils to take part in The Big Ask

The Arbours head teacher Angela Watts said: “It is vitally important that we listen to children and give them a forum to speak to us to help us understand them better.

"The Big Ask provides children with a platform to tell us what their life is like now, what is important to them and what they want for the future.

"Having children identify what they see as potential barriers to their lifelong success is powerful and gives us the opportunity to improve their chances of great success.

"I encourage all children and families to get involved and ensure that their voices are heard!”

The Big Ask was launched on April 19 as a month-long, online consultation available to any child who can access the internet as well as organisations and services working with kids.

The results will form the cornerstone of the children’s commissioner’s Childhood Commission – an ambitious report due to be published later this year.

The commission, inspired by the ambition of William Beveridge’s pioneering 1940s report, will identify barriers preventing children from reaching their full potential, propose solutions and come up with targets to monitor improvement.

Briar Hill head teacher Janey Cooksley said: “It is essential to have the voices of the future.

"It is citizenship in action and as a school we want our children to have a voice and we need to learn from them to enable the changes needed.”

The survey is completely anonymous and does not ask children to submit any directly identifiable information - there is also a separate survey for carers, parents, or childcare professionals.

Both surveys run until May 19 and can be accessed at childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/thebigask.

Simon Rose, director of primary education at the David Ross Education Trust, which both schools are part of, said: “Across the country our children have endured so much since the pandemic began, and it is fantastic that they will now have an opportunity to present their interests moving forward.

"This is an opportunity for primary pupils as young as 4 years old to practice being active citizens and use their voice for change - two things that we regularly encourage our children to be and do here at DRET.

"We look forward to seeing the impact of The Big Ask and we will continue to champion our children’s voices more now than ever before.”