CHILDREN from Bolton will be at the forefront of shaping the future experience of pupils after the pandemic after they met the Children’s Commissioner for England and took part in the largest consultation with school age children that the country has ever seen.

The commissioner, Dame Rachel de Souza, whose job is to speak up for children in England visted four schools in Bolton.

She said she would ‘make sure that their voices are heard in Whitehall and Westminster’.

She went to Turton High, Blackrod Primary and Rumworth Special School before rounding off the day with a visit to Essa Primary and Secondary Academy.

Bernie Brown, director of children’s services for Bolton, accompanied Dame de Souza on the visit.

She said: “We were delighted to welcome the commissioner to talk to children in local schools about The Big Ask.

“This is the largest ever survey of children in England, designed to find out what their concerns and aspirations about the future are.

“Children at Turton High and at Blackrod Primary spoke to her about their views about the pandemic and what they would like to see done to make life better for children.

“Catering students at Rumworth prepared a beautiful afternoon tea and students there were excited to show off their forest school.

“Essa Academy even laid on a cadet parade for the occasion as an example of the trust wide approach to enrichment for pupils.

“There were some great examples of primary pupils art on show too.

“I have been encouraging all schools in the area to take part in The Big Ask and ensure children in our area have their chance to have their say and influence the childhood commission.

“I am proud that this week Bolton had the highest response rate for the survey of anywhere in England.”

The survey is live until the May 28.

Dame de Souza, said: “It was such a privilege to meet so many inspirational children during my visit to schools in Bolton.

“They provided lots of powerful feedback about our survey of children, The Big Ask, about the people they have lost, their amazing work coming out of lockdown and their hopes and dreams for the future.

“They were a credit to their families and school and I will make sure that their voices are heard in Whitehall and Westminster.”