This week we heard of the new children’s commissioner plans for a large-scale research project that aims to put children’s voices front and centre of the Covid recovery. And, from next week nurseries and early years settings will be using lateral flow testing.


New children’s commissioner pledges to ‘rebuild childhood’


Following the disruption caused by the pandemic, England’s new children’s commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, says she will be ‘fearless’ in representing children’s interests and wants to ‘rebuild childhood’. To do this, the commissioner is launching the ‘Big Ask’, claimed to be England’s biggest survey of children, which aims to gather children’s views on the impact of the pandemic and barriers to their ambitions.


BBC News reports that the online survey will be sent to all schools, children in youth custody, children’s homes and mental health units. The children’s commissioner wants to develop a 10-year plan following the review. Read more here.


Testing for nurseries and nursery staff


Nursery World has reported that nurseries and pre-schools have begun receiving lateral flow devices for regular testing, which can be used from next week. An update on government guidance means that rapid lateral flow testing applies to all nursery staff, as well as anyone in the household or support bubble of nursery children and staff.

This comes as a huge relief for nurseries and pre-school staff who have been forced to put themselves and their loved ones at risk to care for and teach the children of key workers.  Throughout the pandemic we have continuously called on the Government to recognise teachers as key frontline workers and prioritise them for the vaccine.

Childcare research project


A research project, Childcare During Covid-19, led by the University of Leeds, is seeking to provide evidence to support early years settings and staff through the pandemic. It is calling on nursery managers to take a survey and support the project.


The study will examine where provision has been disrupted and why. It aims to generate empirical evidence on the key pressures that nurseries and nursery staff have faced due to Covid-19. Read this Nursery World article to find out more and take part in the survey.


The learning gap


For a longer watch, we’d recommend catching up on The Spectator’s online broadcast for a debate about how to make up for lost time and to what extent life skills can be taught online.


Each Friday, we share a curated summary of the week’s news, and share with you our opinion on the topics that matter. In addition, sign up to our newsletter to receive a fortnightly updates from the Montessori Network.