Cuts Watch #126: The Children’s Commissioner
Michael Gove today announced a review of the Children’s Commissioner for England that will, amongst other criteria, examine whether it provides ‘value for money’. The Children’s Commissioner has a statutory remit to promote awareness of the views and interests of children; her office has a staff of 25 and a budget of about £3 million.Mr. Gove’s announcement linked the decision to the Coalition’s review of quangos; the review of the Commissioner will be carried out by Dr John Dunford, General Secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders (not a TUC-affiliated union). Mr Gove emphasised that the government thinks that children should continue to have “a strong, independent advocate to champion their interests and views and to promote their rights.” The review will cover:
- The powers, remit and functions of the Children’s Commissioner,
- The relationship with other related functions supported by Government and
- Value for money.
A call for comments has been published (strangely, on the old DCSF website, not the DfE.)
When the current Commissioner, Maggie Atkinson, was appointed last year, there was a minor controversy, when the DCSF Select Committee criticised her appointment because she would not be sufficiently independent from the then government.