Professionals have endorsed the Good Childhood Report 2015 and have called for consideration of the results when planning children's services. 

Portrait photograph of Lucy Bereford


Lucy Beresford, writer, broadcaster and psychotherapist said:

“The Children’s Society’s report clearly shows that too many children are suffering in schools  - rather than thriving. This has got to change. I whole-heartedly support the charity’s call for all schools in England to be required to have counsellors. Counsellors can provide the safe haven that so many children need in school. They are crucial to addressing the unhappiness that children can sometimes feel and to help directly tackle the problem of bullying.” 

Kevin Courtney, NUT

Kevin Courtney, Deputy General Secretary, NUT, the largest teachers' union

“It is very concerning that this survey shows again that children in schools in England and Wales are more unhappy than in many other countries. There needs to be the time devoted in the curriculum to preventing bullying through challenging negative attitudes. The lessons learnt make a significant difference to pupils’ attitudes, not only during their school career but throughout their adult life as well. 

“As our own research demonstrates, the accountability agenda handed down to schools by both Ofsted and the Department for Education is having a tangible effect on pupil behaviour. Children can now expect to be branded ‘failures’ when barely into primary education, and many of those who undergo high-stakes tests and examinations at all stages of schools life experience serious stress-related anxiety. In addition, the narrow curriculum is failing to engage some students and this ‘exam factories’ culture can lead, perversely, to disruptive behaviour. With the addition of the Children’s Society important report, we call on the Government to consider seriously the impact of their policies on children’s well-being.”

Portrait of Catherine Roche, CEO of children’s mental health Place2Be

Catherine Roche, CEO of children’s mental health charity Place2Be

“It’s deeply concerning that children in England rank so low for life satisfaction. We know from our years of experience of working with schools that unhappiness can lead to disengagement from learning, which in turn can have a very serious impact on a child’s life chances. We also know that when support is there to address issues early on, we can turn that around.

“The sad reality for many children in the UK today is that they are facing all kinds of distressing issues, from being bullied in the playground to witnessing domestic violence at home, from bereavement to coping with a parent’s drug or alcohol addiction.

“We need to make sure that help is available for these children when and where they need it, and that teachers are equipped to spot problems as soon as they arise. Crucially we must help children to develop the coping skills they need to face life’s inevitable knocks – skills that will last a lifetime.” 

Professor Dame Sue Bailey, Chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition

‘As well as offering proper support, we need to enable children and young people to have control over their own wellbeing by helping them to develop the necessary skills to build resilience. This is likely to produce better and more sustained good outcomes. Often, it is not helpful to simply make what are ‘normal adversities’ into illnesses as a medicalised response isn’t always the most effective approach’.

Read more about the Good Childhood Report and its recommendations on our website