Sally’s Blog

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

Challenges for the new First Minister

2019 has started with a new First Minister. In this blogpost, I’d like to underline what I think are the two main challenges Mark Drakeford and his Government faces when it comes to improving the lives of children in Wales.

Universal Children’s Day 2018

Human rights guarantee humanity’s basic freedoms and needs. As the most vulnerable in our society, children are given additional rights, and it is our duty as a society to protect and promote them. These rights are entitlements; they are not

Giving young carers the recognition they deserve

Last Saturday I attended Cardiff Young Carers’ barbecue in Butetown Youth Pavillion. There was an amazing showcase event to start, with talented young people singing solos and in groups. In between songs there were some personal stories that were so

Curriculum Reform: Listening to the experts

As Children’s Commissioner for Wales my role is to help drive positive and long-lasting changes for children and young people in Wales. Listening to children and young people is an essential part of this work. Young people are the experts

2017 – The year of the bully

I apologise in advance for writing a sad end-of-year blog, but I’ve seen a lot of sadness and hurt this year, and I don’t want a repeat of that in 2018. 10 things I have learned this year: Children and

Lowri Morgan – My experiences of bullying

Lowri Morgan, a 17-year-old pupil at a secondary school in Wales, writes about her experiences of bullying in this guest post. For #AntiBullyingWeek, we’ve launched resources to help primary and secondary schools discuss bullying with their pupils. I was in

Sam’s Story

This blog was sent to us by a pupil from Newport High School as part of our Sam’s Story report. During #AntiBullyingWeek 2017, we launched a set of anti-bullying resources to use in Primary and Secondary schools. Hi. I’m Sam.

An excellent launch day

This guest post was written by Josh Houston, a young person who attended the launch of our Sam’s Story report whilst on work experience with us. For #AntiBullyingWeek, we’ve launched resources for primary and secondary schools; these resources are closely

Remembering Rhodri

So many of us in Wales have vivid memories and fond recollections of Rhodri Morgan, our former First Minister, who died suddenly on 17 May. Known universally by his first name alone, when my husband woke me to tell me

Children’s Rights in the Digital World

  When I became Children’s Commissioner for Wales I asked children and young people to tell me their priorities through my What Next consultation. Bullying emerged as the issue of highest concern but to tackle this I wanted to find

Third meeting and invited for a third year!

Guest post by Tom Sturt – Young People’s Advisory Panel Member On Wednesday 22nd of February, the Young People’s Advisory Panel met for a third time in our term. It was fabulous to meet everyone again since October, because lots

Birchgrove Primary – Our Rights Respecting Journey

Guest blog from Birchgrove Primary At Birchgrove Primary school part of our school’s aim is to develop happy, successful children. To promote this we have been working towards recognition as a “Rights Respecting School” and have recently been awarded Rights

Is social media anti social? The verdict from 10-year-olds

At the end of last year I had the pleasure of attending my first ever primary school debate. Although I regularly hear primary school children expressing themselves in an articulate way about social issues of the day, this was the first

Making legal proceedings accessible for children

Guest post by Rachel – Policy Adviser Creating content that is accessible to children and young people is something we’re seeing more and more of, but rarely do we associate ‘plain English’ or ‘child friendly’ versions with legal proceedings. However,

My Ambassadors are back!

September is an exciting month in my office as we sign up primary schools to our Super Ambassadors’ scheme. Many are re-registering as they do every year, while others will be brand new to the scheme. My Super Ambassadors play

Children in our Care – let’s get the basics right

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve spent time with young people from 19 out of Wales’ 22 local authorities. These young people were of different ages, had a wide range of different interests, personal styles and talents. All had

Art, chickens, and children’s rights

Guest blog by Lois Medi – Advisory Panel Member On Tuesday the twelfth of July, the first meeting of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales’ young advisory panel was held. It was a brilliant, productive day that gave us even more

Together Stronger for children and young people

Guest post by Hywel Dafydd – Policy and Public Affairs Manager Like the country as a whole, I am still radiating with joy, pride and gratitude for the achievements of the Welsh football team during Euro 2016. Whilst so many

Building success: young people building their own homes

Last week I visited the Wrexham Warehouse Project. I had a thoroughly enjoyable few hours in this project. George Powell was a foster carer for 20 years alongside his work as a builder with his own family firm. He has

‘My name’s Joel and I’m the Prime Minister’

This is how I was greeted by 11 year old Joel when I arrived at St Joseph’s RC primary school in Penarth recently. Wales has promoted democracy in schools for many years – making school councils compulsory in every state

First day

I applied for the post of Children’s Commissioner because I want to make sure that the ‘3 Ps’ of children and young people’s rights are at the top of everyone’s agenda in Wales. These are: Participation: do you have a

Austerity Bites

As I come to the end of my first month in office I can pause to reflect on what an unusual month it has been. Across the UK the month has been dominated by the General Election – an event

Safe in our communities

Over the last three weeks my team and I have had the chance to talk to hundreds of children and young people and hear their ideas on what matters to them and what they want me to speak out about

Measuring child poverty

I have published a report with the other three children’s commissioners of the UK to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child on the state of children’s rights in the UK. We were last invited to report

Mental health for all

In my first few months as the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, I have been asking the question ‘What Next?’ to hundreds of children and young people and to parents, teachers and others who work with children. When I ask ‘What

Take Pride

‘Take Pride’: rights for LGBT* young people in Wales I recently took part in a really ground-breaking Pride Cymru Youthconference in Wales. It was Wales’s first youth-led conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* young people. The conference hall was

Equal protection

Universal Children’s Day: It’s time to give children Equal Protection Universal Children’s Day is an important date in the calendar of any Children’s Commissioner. It was established by the United Nations in 1954 to encourage understanding between children and promote

Care proceedings: Prevention is best

In the last month there have been two interesting reports on care proceedings. These are the proceedings in family courts which make legal orders about children being placed into care settings. The first was the report by a research team

Generation Games

Too often the way we organise our lives means that different generations may have little to do with each other. Although grandparents play a huge part in children’s lives in Wales – you only have to go to any school