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The Big Ask - making sure children in your area are represented

As you will know, we are running the largest ever survey of children in England – The Big Ask – to inform society’s recovery post-pandemic, and my agenda for the rest of my term as Children’s Commissioner.

It is critically important that The Big Ask hears from children in all parts of the country. In order to make the survey more representative, I want to hear from at least 5% of children and young people in every local authority. Some local authorities have already achieved this, so I know it is possible.

If your local authority’s response rate is lower, I would really appreciate your help by encouraging all children in your local area to complete the survey. You can help by:

  • Sending out the information to your local schools. I know schools are very busy, but our website includes lots of resources to help make this an easy form-time or PSHE activity. We are very keen to drive up responses from younger children, and have created a dedicated resources page for primary schools here.
  • If you do have a Heads forum, I would grateful if you could put this on the agenda, or even invite my office along to have a brief slot explaining the survey and its importance.
  • Please pass the survey to your non-school networks as well: youth groups, parent groups, children in care councils, care leavers forums, and voluntary sector partners. There are surveys online for different age groups, including parents and care leavers. Just visit

If your local authority achieves at least a 5% response, then we should have enough data points to be able to provide you with disaggregated figures for your local authority on children’s aspirations, priorities and concerns for the future.

Thank you for all your help.
With best wishes,
Dame Rachel de Souza
Children’s Commissioner for England