Richard Layard – What Makes a Good Childhood event at RSA

Just a quick post to point out that Professor Lord Richard Layard will be at the RSA this Thursday at 1pm for an hour to debate the Children Society’s A Good Childhood Report.

And it is a key debate, because the report is both important and problematic.

It is important because it amplifies a voice often unheard – that of young people’s own sense of their well being. To raise this call above the clamour surrounding measures of outcomes defined as important by government is a real achievement.

However, it is problematic for two reasons (which I explore in more depth in the RSA’s online journal). One is that the implications are not thought through well enough in its recommendations. The second is that there was little emphasis on the importance of young people’s active citizenship. This opportunity to explore the relationship between association with others for a common purpose and combating the deleterious effects of individualism seems to have been missed.

Let’s hope the inquiry carries on to ask questions in this area. In the meantime, the RSA will continue to develop its thinking through the Manchester Curriculum pilot, (more of which soon).

P.S. For those who read the blog but don’t know the RSA, this Thursday’s event is part of the RSA’s regular series of free lectures and talks from top class speakers. Anyone can access them for free either by attending at John Adam Street, via download, or through iTunes.

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