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In March, we joined the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) to submit joint written evidence to the Public Accounts Committee inquiry into ‘COVID-19: Education’, which assesses how well the UK Government’s Department for Education (DfE) managed its overall response in ‘the first national lockdown’ (23 March – 23 June 2020), including whether it “effectively supported schools and pupils in England during this period, whether it managed the move to mainly home-learning effectively and whether it effectively supported vulnerable and disadvantaged children”.

First, our submission sets out the UK Government (and DfE) human rights obligations to ensure:

  • children enjoy their right to education and right to life, survival and development
  • decisions are made in the best interests of children
  • decisions do not discriminate against specific children or specific groups of children
  • children enjoy their right to be heard
  • legislative, administrative and other measures realise children’s rights
  • lawful decision-making is made even in economic and health crises
  • adequate investment in children’s rights

Second, our submission sets out key children’s rights issues during the lockdown, including:

  • school attendance and accessibility
  • access to social security and food insecurity
  • access to healthcare and support services
  • full consideration of the impact on children’s rights

We address these key issues in light of legal duties under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights instruments. We set out human rights-based questions which we recommend the Public Accounts Committee addresses when it questions senior officials at the DfE on how well the DfE managed its overall response in the first lockdown.

See our full submission here.

For more information contact ‘[email protected]‘.