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Opinion / Youth Justice

Councils need help to beat child poverty rise

By Derren Hayes |

29 April 2014

Projecting what will happen to child poverty figures between now and 2020 is a difficult task for the statisticians and number crunchers, let alone politicians and campaigners. So pronouncements on what the future holds have to be treated with a hefty dose of caution, particularly with a general election not far away.

Stories of 'lifetime Neets' will often end in tragedy

By Howard Williamson |

29 April 2014

A European conference was held in Bucharest last month to consider the plight and position of those young people who have been dreadfully labelled as "Neets" - although there is nothing wrong with being concerned about young people who have been excluded from, or dropped out of, education, training and employment.

Government demonstrates poverty of 10-year strategy

By Patricia Lewsley-Mooney |

15 April 2014

I must admit some frustration at how slowly things can move forward in terms of government action for children, and how things that seem to have moved forward can appear to quietly slip back.

Labour must produce a clear vision for children

By Derren Hayes |

18 March 2014

After a slow start, Labour seems to be finding its feet in opposition. But with a general election a little over a year away, time is running out for the party to produce a coherent policy vision for children, young people and families.

New act heralds momentous time for children's rights

By Maggie Atkinson |

18 March 2014

I am a fortnight away from the "go-live" point of a change on which we have been working since 2010. On 1 April, as a result of the royal assent to the Children and Families Bill 2013 making it the 2014 Act, the children's commissioner for England's primary function will change from "representing the views and interests of children" to "the promotion and protection of the rights of the child", with particular but not exclusive regard for the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Dr Chris Hanvey argues for the adoption of new standards to raise the quality of healthcare for young people in the secure estate.

New Ofsted inspections must show consistency

By Derren Hayes |

04 March 2014

Inspection is a tough brief. Just like a football referee, an Ofsted inspector will rarely please everyone: one minute you are being accused by politicians and the public of being too soft and failing to spot bad practice, while the next, those you regulate will be hopping up and down over a perceived injustice in judgment.

Seven key steps to ensure best interests of children

By Keith Towler |

04 February 2014

Wales children's commissioner Keith Towler shares his golden rules for promoting children's rights.

Time for UN convention to be signed into UK law

By Patricia Lewsley-Mooney |

17 December 2013

Northern Ireland children's commissioner says children's rights need to be written into law.

Service user input is key to solving social problems

By Debbie Barnes |

29 October 2013

Howard Williamson on why offenders are essential to stopping the cycle of reoffending.