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Archbishop Welcomes Good Childhood Inquiry to Lambeth

Tuesday 8th April 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, yesterday welcomed the members of the Good Childhood Inquiry panel to Lambeth Palace for a discussion about the emerging themes of the Inquiry's work.

As patron of the national Inquiry, which was set up by the Children's Society, the Archbishop heard from its panel members how each of its themes – on friends, family, lifestyle, learning, health and values - had been taking shape. The panel, which has met regularly since 2007 to consider evidence submitted by the public, professionals and children themselves, as well as existing research, will produce its final report in the spring of 2009.

The Archbishop said:

"I am grateful for this opportunity to meet with the panel members of the Good Childhood Inquiry and to hear more about how their work has been progressing. I particularly look forward later this month to the publication of its evidence on children's physical health and mental wellbeing.  The evidence that has so far been released on friends, family, lifestyle and learning has demonstrated that this is a timely and significant Inquiry, which will be of great value and resource to those looking to shape future policy for children and young people. The Inquiry's findings, informed in large part by the involvement of young people themselves, will also be an important contribution to the wider debate within society about the needs and priorities of young people."

Bob Reitemeier, who is Chief Executive of the Children's Society, said:

"The Good Childhood Inquiry is far-reaching and aims to challenge the culture in which children are brought up so that all children can experience a better childhood. We've heard from over 15,000 people so far, including 10,000 children whose views are now being considered by the panel. Rethinking childhood is one of the most important issues facing the UK. We're extremely grateful for the Archbishop's insights on childhood and his participation in the Inquiry which has helped us shape the debate around childhood. "

The Children's Society will be releasing a summary of the evidence received around the theme of health on Thursday 24 April.  Copies of the evidence summary will be available from

List of attendees:

Sir Albert Aynsley-Green
Children's Commissioner for England, 11 Million

Muhammad Abdul Bari
Secretary General, the Muslim Council of Britain

Shami Chakrabarti
Director, Liberty

Jim Davis
Programme Manager, The Children's Society

Professor Judy Dunn
Professor of Developmental Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

Professor Philip Graham
Emeritus Professor of Child Psychiatry, Institute of Child Health, London

Esther Hughes
Head, The Good Childhood, The Children's Society

Professor Kathleen Kiernan
Professor of Social Policy and Demography, University of York

Professor Lord Layard (Richard)
Emeritus Professor of Economics, Institute of Economic Performance, LSE

Professor Barbara Maughan
Professor of Developmental Epidemiology, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

Larissa Pople
Policy & Research Officer, The Children's Society

Gwyther Rees
Assistant Director, Research, The Children's Society

Bob Reitemeier
Chief Executive, The Children's Society

Professor Stephen Scott
Professor of Child Health and Behaviour, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

+Tim Stevens
Bishop of Leicester and Chair of the Board of Trustees, The Children's Society

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