Dame Rachel De Souza, who took up the post on 1 March, replacing Anne Longfield, said that the review will be inspired by the pioneering 1940s Beveridge Report by William Beveridge, which laid the foundations of the post-war social security system and the National Health Service.
The review will be driven by the largest consultation with children ever undertaken in England: The Big Ask and it will re-cast Beveridge’s ‘five giants’ for children today, identifying the barriers which prevent them having the best childhoods; the best preparation for successful futures, and a better life than their parents.
Launching the Childhood Commission, Dame Rachel de Souza, children’s commissioner for England, said, ‘As we emerge from the Covid pandemic, this is the moment for something big for children to recognise the sacrifices they have made. I have seen first-hand the effect of this crisis on young people’s hopes and dreams, and sometimes our answers simply have not been good enough.
‘Our response to the trauma of the Second World War was to create a blueprint for a social service system and a National Health Service that improved our lives. We have the chance to do the same again now for children. There is a huge opportunity to remake our social settlement which won’t come again for decades, and we must seize it.
I want the Childhood Commission to have the spirit and the ambition of the Beveridge Report – something that leads to long term changes that improve the chances of every single child, whatever their early standing in life and wherever they are in England.
The children’s commissioner will publish an interim report before the summer, setting out children’s expectations and aspirations, and the barriers to attaining them, informed by the results of the consultation, an evidence review and data analysis. A subsequent report will propose solutions, investment, metrics, and set out the challenge to society to pay back to this generation of children and re-set their future.