The Big Ask - National Children's Survey - Closes 28 May 2021


Upon her recent appointment, the new Children’s Commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza launched a nationwide survey for young people to complete called ‘The Big Ask’. The purpose of the survey, which ends on Friday 28 May, is for her to hear children’s voices across the country in order to plan her work over the coming years, and ensure she makes a difference. It is the largest ever consultation held with children.

The overall approach is called ‘The Childhood Commission’, a once-in-a-generation review of children’s lives. It will identify the barriers preventing children reaching their full potential and propose policy solutions to address them.

In this survey the Children’s Commissioner is asking children and young people what they think is important for their future and what is holding young people back. The Children’s Commissioner will use what children and young people tell her to show the Government what they think and what they need to live happier lives.

We really do believe it is an exciting opportunity to help us think big and it’s a chance for every child in England to have their voice heard.

There is a video below that explains more, that we are showing in tutor periods and talking students through the process. There is also a letter to parents and carers from Dame Rachel that explains more.

Students can complete the survey by clicking on the green button below

Children’s Commissioner for England, Rachel de Souza

Parent/Carer Information

Frequently Asked Questions

The Big Ask survey is the largest consultation with children and young people in England ever conducted.

What age range are you targeting and how are the surveys different for different ages?
There will be different versions for the following age groups: 4-5, 6-8, 9-12, 13-17, 18+
Each version has been professionally designed to be appropriate and engaging and has been piloted with children in the relevant age group. There will also be two ‘easy read’ accessible versions of the survey, one for 6-8 year-olds and one for 9-17 year olds.

How long do we have to complete the survey?
The survey will be live for a month, launching on Monday 19 April and closing on Friday 28 May.

How are you making sure the survey goes to all children?
The survey will be online and available to any child who can access the internet. We will also send the survey to organisations and services working with children including: schools, youth groups, local authorities, charities who work with children and young people, Children in Care Councils, children’s homes, children’s mental health services, youth justice settings, community groups, and many more.

Do you have a specific target for the number of children you want to reply?
We want this to be accessible to as many children as possible and are doing all we can to make the survey engaging and interesting, to encourage them to take part. The more children and young people take part the better

Will the survey be anonymous?
Yes. The survey does not ask respondents to submit any directly identifiable information such as their name. The data will be kept confidential by the CCO. View our full Data Protection Impact Assessment.

Why are you asking for my postcode?
We need to know what area you live in so that we can see if children who live in different parts of the country have different views, and so that we can look at the results for a specific town or local area.
We will only use your postcode to find out what local area you live in, and then we will delete the postcode information. We won’t use this information to identify or track you.

Why are we asking for the name of the school the child attends?
We are asking for school for two main reasons:
As this is an online ‘opt-in’ survey, we know that some groups are more likely to fill in our survey than others. The research conducted by ImpactEd and SchoolDash with schools last year showed that school characteristics were useful for understanding where responses may have been lower for certain groups. So, we will look at the school characteristics as well as the characteristics of the respondent to understand where the survey has good coverage.
We want to understand the relationship between the high-level school characteristics such as the type of school, the percentage of children in receipt of free school meals and the local authority the school is in and the opinions and experiences of the young people who respond to our survey. This will help us to make informed recommendations where additional, targeted support may be required.
We won’t publish or release any data at the school-level or identify any schools in any of our publications.

What will happen to the data in the survey after you’ve finished your report?
Data is retained by CCO for two years at which point it is securely deleted unless there is a compelling reason to keep it, for example, if new research which was in the public interest could be carried out using the data.