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21st Sep 2021 10:18am News

The Big Ask Survey - thank you and results

ACT partnered with the Children's Commissioner to ask young people how the pandemic has affected their lives and about their hopes for the future.

ACT and the Children’s Commissioner Survey Children around the Country

In April, ACT was pleased to support the Children’s Commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, in collecting children and young people’s views from across the country about how the pandemic has affected their lives and about their hopes for the future.

ACT teachers helped by developing Citizenship lessons for use with key stage 2, 3 and 4 pupils. The lessons were designed to introduce the survey and enable children’s rights to be consulted on matters that affect them so that they could be listened to by those in power. Thank you to the teachers who developed the lessons and to all in our network for all their hard work to ensure their young people’s voices were heard in the survey responses.

Here is a key summary and an extract from the foreword from the Big Answer report:

  • 557,077 responses from children in England (aged 4-17)
  • 84% of children said they were happy or okay with life at school or college
  • 80% of children were happy with their family life
  • 80% of children were happy or okay with their mental health
  • Children care deeply about community. They want to get outside and play. To have enough to do in their neighbourhoods. They want to feel safe and protected in online spaces.
  • Children are pleased to be back in school. As we recover, they have asked for support to make a success of the opportunities returned to them.
  • Children care about the environment and the planet. The second most common concern for children about their future was protecting the planet and environment.

“Over half a million children responded – the largest survey of its kind in history – and at a landmark moment for young people growing up in this country. At a critical time, as we emerge from the pandemic, children have told us how the past year has affected them and what needs to happen now as we recover.

Despite the sacrifices they have made, the majority of children say they are happy. This is not a ‘snowflake’ generation. Rather, it is a heroic generation. Children were united in what they said across all identity groups, every part of the country and across all age groups – they told us they want to get back to school, to get on, and do well. To have fulfilling lives. To look after their families. To make their communities better. They want to contribute to a better, fairer world – and crucially, they care about a greener world and the environment.”

Dame Rachel de Souza, Children’s Commissioner

To read the full report you can visit the Big Ask Survey website here. You can also join our growing network of ACT members by signing-up here.