The UK Covid-19 Inquiry will deliver a bespoke and targeted research project, hearing directly from children and young people most affected by the pandemic, to help inform its findings and recommendations.
Last week, the Inquiry met with children and young people’s organisations to discuss the plans and set out how the Inquiry intends to consider the experiences of children and young people as part of its investigations.
The Inquiry will collect first-hand experiences from children and young people as part of a wide-scale research project. This will be combined with existing evidence on the impacts of the pandemic on children and young people.
Like its UK-wide listening exercise, Every Story Matters, the insights from the research will be fed into the Inquiry as legal evidence to inform questioning and recommendations for the future.
The Inquiry has worked closely with experts and organisations representing children and young people to carefully consider its approach to involving children and young people. This requires additional safeguarding measures and emotional support to reduce the risk of harm. Over the coming weeks we will be commissioning and designing this research project, so that children and young people’s experiences can be captured in a way that puts their safety and support at the heart of the project.
We want to make sure that children and young people can share their experiences with the Inquiry and we need to do so in a way that is safe and does not cause harm. This is best delivered as part of a bespoke and targeted research project, including hearing directly and specifically from children and young people in their own words. We have thought carefully about this and are grateful to all of the organisations that have contributed to our work so far.
Inquiry Chair, Baroness Hallett, has made clear that the Inquiry will investigate the impacts of the pandemic on children and young people and this is set out in the Inquiry’s terms of reference.
Further timings for the legal investigation and hearings into the impact of the pandemic on education, children and young people will be announced in early 2024.