More than being heard: how to include children and young people in post-COVID policymaking

The second event in our virtual series discussing how we can build back better after COVID-19, held in partnership with Policy@Manchester - The University of Manchester's policy engagement unit.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep inequalities and spurred a conversation about what matters in society and how we would like to rebuild the country after the crisis. With evidence showing that children and young people have been disproportionately impacted by the disruptions caused by the pandemic, there are concerns that a whole generation could be left behind. As policymakers seek solutions to help mitigate these impacts, how can we ensure that children and young people are key stakeholders in decision making about their futures? What practical steps can policymakers take to ensure that, as well as being heard, young people are more actively included in the policymaking process?


Dr Deborah Ralls, Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, The University of Manchester

Andrew Bowie MP, Vice Chair of the Conservative Party & Member of Parliament for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

Dan Lawes,  Founder and Chair, YouthPolitics UK

Joe Seddon, CEO of Zero Gravity & Trustee, British Youth Council

James KirkupDirector, Social Market Foundation (Chair)

At the event we heard from The University of Manchester’s Dr Deborah Ralls, whose research focuses on how education policy could be redefined to create more inclusive urban decision-making processes. She discussed the importance of considering children and young people as the experts of their own lives and why it is essential that any attempts to build back better adopt a collective approach, which includes children and young people as key stakeholders in core urban decision-making processes. We also heard from Daniel Lawes, Founder and Chair of YouthPolitics UK; Andrew Bowie MP, Vice Chair of the Conservative Party and Joe Seddon, Trustee of the British Youth Council. 

Follow @SMFthinktank and @UoMPolicy for the live thread.