Children’s Commissioner gives evidence to Commons Education Select Committee

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Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England, gave evidence to the Commons Education Select Committee yesterday about issues affecting children and young people. The issues discussed included the social, emotional and mental wellbeing of children as well as the need for good quality PSHE in schools.

In response to the evidence given by the Children's Commissioner, Maggie Walker, ASDAN CEO, said: “Anne Longfield raised some very important issues in her evidence to the Education Select Committee, not least around the plight of children who are living in poverty; the emotional, mental and physical well-being of all young people, and their preparedness for adult life. 

“We particularly welcome her comments about the need for good quality and effective PHSE teaching in schools.  While Ministers continue to delay on a decision on whether to make this subject statutory in schools, Anne Longfield could not have been clearer about some of the dangers facing today’s children and young people, how they themselves have told her they want these issues to be raised in schools by properly qualified teachers and how inadequate provision is in many of these schools. We echo her views and urge the government to address this as a matter of urgency as there is nothing more important than safe-guarding our children.

“The Children’s Commissioner also called on all schools to provide counselling services to pupils who need it. The rising incidence of mental health problems among our young people should be a source of huge concern to us all.  Children who are anxious, depressed or suffer from eating disorders cannot learn properly at school and will carry with them a history of health problems into adulthood if these are not addressed much earlier. 

“In answering questions from MPs, Anne Longfield has highlighted many of the challenges children and young people face in modern Britain, and we welcome the vital work she is doing in raising government and public awareness of these issues.”

You can see the evidence given by Anne Longfield in full via Parliament TV.