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Sally’s Blog

Here you’ll find the blog of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Sally Holland.

Opening Doors: an update on our ‘No Wrong Door’ work

There’s not a week goes by where I don’t hear about or discuss an issue relating to children’s mental health. Too often, I hear about how children and their families who are looking for support for a range of needs find that they have to navigate a very complex

Universal Children’s Day 2021: A Welsh welcome to child refugees

‘Shwmae’! This was first word that greeted me when I met some Afghan child refugees recently. They had only been in Wales for three weeks but had already picked up the Welsh greeting of ‘Shw’mae’ (how are you) as well as ‘diolch’ (thank you) and ‘un, dau, tri’ (1,2,3).

GCSEs and A-levels 2021: Has Wales passed the test?

This week is an unusual results week for many reasons. Not only did Welsh candidates receive a report of their provisional results several weeks ago, but the traditional exam hall was replaced by a more flexible system that depended on schools and colleges taking the lead in determining how

The year ahead: Six tasks for the new government

The next year will be a high stakes one for Welsh children and young people. There are glimmers of hope as we seem to be emerging from the worst of the pandemic, but there is definitely tension in the air as many harbour an underlying anxiety about further waves.

What the lockdown has made visible about children’s lives

When it became clear how drastic the measures would be in response to the pandemic, all of us who work to protect children’s rights took a sharp intake of breath. Not just because of the sheer disruption to everyday lives, but because we knew immediately that children’s experiences of

Keep being you, keep being awesome

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and think I’m having a bad dream where children and young people can’t go and meet their friends, or learn with their teachers, or go to breakfast club, or play sports, or put on a school play or all

School uniform wars: time for a rights-based approach

Over recent months and years there has been a spate of headlines as children are put in isolation, served with exclusions or banned from play times due to their ‘inappropriate’ clothes, haircuts, jewellery, eyebrows or make-up. Schools in parts of the UK seem to be upping the ante with

Why I’m proud of our young activists

Yesterday (June 5th) my office arranged a meeting between some of the young people (from Radnor Primary School and the Atlantic College) who took part in recent climate change strikes in Cardiff and the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths. The demonstrations caused a stir: many

Where next for children’s mental health services in Wales?

In this blogpost I summarise where Wales is at in its reform journey of children’s mental health services and present my vision for the next leg of the journey. Read our July 2018 position paper Wales is now in the fourth and final year of its Together for Children

Gender and safety – a personal experience

I am proud to be supporting Primary Agenda which is being launched today. It’s a carefully planned and tested resource to help children in primary schools to explore issues of gender stereotypes, negative behaviours and personal safety. Here is a very personal blog about why it’s needed. Earlier this