The UK is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and England needs a Commissioner with adequate powers in order to meet its obligations under this Convention. The argument for having a Children’s Commissioner is that children are generally more vulnerable than adults and are therefore more likely to have their rights abused.

The Children’s Commissioner has had a significant impact on the lives of some children and young people. However, the overall impact has been disappointing. This is in large part due to the limited remit set out in the 2004 legislation and a failure to establish credibility with Government and other policy makers.

On 12 July 2010, the Secretary of State for Education announced to Parliament that there would be an independent review of the office, role and functions of the Children’s Commissioner for England. It particularly aimed to look at the Commissioner’s powers, remit and functions, value for money, and the relationship with other Government funded organisations carrying out related functions.

The recommendations in this report strengthen the remit, powers and independence of the Commissioner, which will set the Commissioner apart from the many children’s organisations and provide the Commissioner with a unique role.


  • A unique role
  • Powers, remit and functions of the Children’s Commissioner
  • The relationship with other organisations
  • Value for money
  • A Children’s Commissioner for England
  • Appendices