Today (7 September), Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England publishes ‘Guess How Much We Love You: A Manifesto for Children’ ahead of any upcoming general election, It calls on Britain’s political parties to include a six-point plan in their election manifestos to transform the life chances for disadvantaged children and to help all children to thrive.
The manifesto focuses on six themes: supporting stronger families, providing decent places for children to live, helping children to have healthy minds, keeping children active, providing SEND support for those who need it, and creating safer streets and play areas.
Its calls include a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service counsellor in every school, adequate funding for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, including pre-statutory support and a cross-government Cabinet committee for children.
In response to the manifesto, Dr Carol Homden, CEO of Coram said:
“The growing crisis in childhood is a shame in our society that demands urgent action, yet so often children and young people’s rights and voices are completely invisible from national political debate.
As the UK’s first children’s charity, supporting some of the most vulnerable children across all of the issues it highlights, we welcome the Children’s Commissioner’s manifesto and call for further rebalancing of the resources available to children. No child should be without access to legal advice and representation, be left in limbo between geographical or professional borders, or denied the education they are entitled to.
We support the call for each of Britain’s political parties to place children’s rights and welfare at the heart of their manifestos. As the numbers of children going in to care, excluded from school, or without adequate mental health support continues to rise, now is the time to place children high up the political agenda and ensure that every child has the safety, love and education they need to thrive. No longer can children be the poor relation in our society.”