Live Chat Software by Click4Assistance UK


After the USA, Britain is the most unequal of the rich countries and this affects our children. In Britain 22% of children are poor, defined as living below 60% of the typical income. This compares to 8% in Sweden and 10% in Denmark. Thirty years ago in Britain the figure was only 13%.

Teenage boy

Mental health

Most of our children lead happy lives, but a minority are seriously troubled or disturbed. Yet only a quarter of those affected are getting any specialist help. This neglect is extremely unjust but it is also short-sighted because these children are highly likely to grow up to become troubled and disturbed adults.

Upset girl


Educational inequality

Britain has a largely excellent school system, blighted by unequal outcomes. By 2006 only 28% of children in the most deprived quarter of schools gained five or more good GCSE passes at A*-C. That compared with 67% of children in the least deprived quarter of schools.

Storytime in school


Our values and beliefs tell us how to behave in our dealings with others and they give us our purposes in life. They define both our morality and our aspirations. They represent our vision of the person we would like to be.

Children playing


Compared with 50 years ago there have been three massive changes:

Children have more money. They have more leisure. New technologies.



As children grow older they spend less time with their parents and more with other children. If they develop good friendships at this stage, they are on their way to happy, fulfilled lives. But the number of 16 year olds saying they have a best friend they can really trust has dropped. Between 1986 and 2006 the rate fell from 87% to 82%, a trend that was evident for both boys and girls.

Closing summary of the launch event

Mark Easton closes the event by asking the panel members what is the one key element that they feel strongly about in the book.

Richard Layard

Professor Richard Layard, principal author of A Good Childhood, talks about schooling and inequality.

Judy Dunn

Professor Judy Dunn, Chair of The Good Childhood Inquiry, talks about family and friends.

What we will do

The Children's Society Chief Executive, Bob Reitemeier, at A Good Childhood launch event, Wednesday 04 February 2009.