Children’s Commissioner impressed by Harlow College student’s plans for future

Education / Sat 2nd Oct 2021 at 12:35pm

THE CHILDREN’S Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel DeSouza visited Harlow College on Thursday afternoon.

Accompanied by Harlow MP Robert Halfon, Dame DeSouza met students across a variety of different subjects.

But she had the same question for them all: What’s your plan? And whether it was manufacturing, catering or hair and beauty, all their students were bale to be very clear from opening their own bakery, salon or tutoring mechanics.

She has also just published her survey, The Big Ask, the biggest ever consultation with children


Speaking about her role as Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel said: “It’s a role about promoting and protecting the rights of children – I basically stick up for children to all the different government departments and public services.”

About the Big Ask project in particular, Dame Rachel said: “When I came into the role in March children had been in lockdown and away from school so I wanted to do a survey of all of England’s children to ask them what they needed to be successful coming out of lockdown, what were the barriers to their success and what did they really want for their futures.

“The biggest issues were their mental health and wellbeing, as well as life at school and college, as they were really worried about catching up with their studies. Another big issue was having places to go and things to do. The number one thing that young people said they wanted was a great job and a great career and that’s why I’m really pleased to be here at Harlow today – good vocational training and careers advice came out far above all other hopes for their futures.

“I think the FE sector has a huge role to play in supporting young people with the issues raised. Having been a Head Teacher for 30 years I know what FE does and I think there’s a huge appetite from young people to learn practically and vocationally and to excel in the areas that FE colleges offer. What I loved when I came to Harlow College was that I’ve seen where your chefs are cooking in your restaurant; I’ve seen trainee electricians actually making electric systems work; I’ve seen aerospace technology, and I think this is such an important strand of education, so well done Harlow College!”

Karen Spencer, Principal of Harlow College, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Dame Rachel and Robert to the College. As ever, I was so impressed with the way our students spoke about the issues that matter to them growing up in the UK. We covered topics from mental health, to sexual harassment and social media, through to their hopes and aspirations for the future. They were thoughtful, articulate and have offered to help with the work of the Children’s Commissioner moving forwards.”

YH spoke to Dame De Souza as well as MP Robert Halfon.

Photo courtesy of Harlow College.

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2 Comments for Children’s Commissioner impressed by Harlow College student’s plans for future:

2021-10-02 13:17:52

Children's Commissioner ? Another job created out of nothing just like Police and Crime Commissioner's. Jobs funded by the taxpayer that don't actually serve any purpose all.

Kayla M
2021-10-07 04:39:32

What? Are you saying that a role which exists purely to ensure the rights of children throughout the UK are protected is meaningless? Are you serious? This is a vital role and is about time we had something like this. I always see many of you lot on here crying about “muh taxes” and whatnot but I’m not so sure if you actually contribute. More often than not, those who are whining about taxes are usually those who are unemployed and on job seekers.

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