Professor Sally Holland, Children’s Commissioner for Wales, introduces the report. Here is just a taster:
“This report presents the views and experiences of 19,737 children and young people, age 3 – 18, in the current lockdown. It is essential reading for decision-makers and those who support our children every day in Wales.
Unsurprisingly, life has been difficult for all age groups. Strong negative feelings were expressed by many children and young people. They expressed frustration and sometimes anger, about the impact of the pandemic on their lives. 3 – 7 year olds spoke about missing friends, family members and experiences. 7-11 year olds’ most common comment at the end of the survey related to missing friends, followed by missing their teacher or school and thirdly enjoying time with their families. From mid-teens on, we saw signs of additional distress potentially compounded by worries about exams and their futures. 30% of 17 and 18 year olds who took part are worried ‘most of the time’.
Loneliness rates are high and not being able to see friends is having the biggest impact on children’s lives, followed by not being able to see other family members and the impact of school and college closures. 3 Over half enjoy learning at their own pace from home, but many are worried about falling behind with learning – levels of confidence and motivation with education are seen to be decreasing with age. A large majority of 15-18 year olds are concerned about falling behind, their qualifications and are reporting low motivation to do school work.
In my view these results provide a clear road-map for Welsh Government on what needs to be prioritised for children and young people over the next few weeks and months.”