Boris Johnson must inject billions into ‘new contract for children’ after Covid, warns children’s commissioner
BORIS Johnson must inject billions into “a new contract for children” after Covid or risk a generation of failed and unhappy teens, the new children’s commissioner has warned.
Lobbying the treasury ahead of next month’s critical spending review, Rachel de Souza said additional cash was needed for more tutoring and extracurricular activities.
Just days after Gavin Williamson was brutally sacked from his post as Education Secretary, she begged her successor Nadhim Zahawi to put children at the center of recovery from the pandemic.
She spoke out by launching her landmark review, which asked more than half a million children to show how the coronavirus has affected their lives.
Hailing their resilience, she said the young are “not the generation of snowflakes, not the lost generation” that they were marked, but “heroic” for enduring the pandemic.
The heart-wrenching investigation found the kids are desperate to get more out into the real world after months of being stuck in their bedrooms zooming in at homeschooling.
He also warns of a ticking time bomb for the mental health of girls, who are twice as likely to be unhappy as boys.
The study found that 40% of girls between the ages of 16 and 17 are unhappy.
Ms de Souza told The Sun: “They feel like they are seen as a generation of snowflakes, but they say, ‘No we are not. ”
“They care about the environment, about fairness, about opportunities.
“But they have been through a major pandemic, as they will never see again, and we owe it to them to support them and help them build the future they want.”
The new children’s czar called on ministers to deploy NHS mental health teams to schools as soon as possible to address the growing crisis.
And she urged work to “continue” on plans to extend the school day, increase the premium for students and provide more support for children receiving free school meals.
She has also taken a big step forward for social media giants who have failed to protect teens, calling for age verification tools and more safeguards to keep children safe online.
She fumed, “I don’t want boys and girls to stumble upon porn, they shouldn’t be around seeing and having weird perceptions.
PROMISE TO LISTEN
“I want to see tech companies take a lot more stocks, we need to take the online world seriously.
“They have to step up and step up now – it creates a completely unrealistic picture for our young people… who are not feeling well enough.”
Last night, Mr Zahawi pledged to ‘listen’ to young people, adding: “As we strive to increase opportunities across the country, we will continue to prioritize the well-being of young people alongside the school success.”
Earlier this year Chancellor Rishi Sunak sparked an uproar when he snubbed calls to pump £ 15bn to help children catch up after Covid.
Instead, he only paid out £ 1.3bn mostly for additional private lessons and has vowed to review the case for more money this fall.
He is currently reviewing a new request from the Education Department for billions more to catch up.
If he refuses again, they are unlikely to ever get the money.