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Social Policy Research Unit granted International Society for Child Indicators Impact Award

Posted on 13 August 2019

The Social Policy Research Unit and The Children's Society have been awarded the 2019 International Society for Child Indicators Impact Award.

Professor Jonathan Bradshaw

Partners at the The Social Policy Research Unit and The Childrens's Society have been awarded the 2019 International Society for Child Indicators Impact Award in honour of Sheila Kammerman and Alfred Kahn. 

The award has been granted for an "outstanding partnership and its contributions to the lives and well-being of children through the use of child well-being indicators". It will be presented at the seventh ISCI conference, in Tartu, Estonia on Thursday 29 August 2019.

The well-being research programme started in 2005 and in 2012, following the Children's Society Good Childhood Inquiry, the partnership launched a series of annual Good Childhood Reports that involved surveys of children in English schools asking about their subjective well-being.

Professor Jonathan BradshawGwyther Rees and Gill Main (now at Leeds University) and Larissa Pople and Haridham Goswami (Children’s Society) have written seven Good Childhood reports since 2012 published by the Children’s Society. These have had a big impact in the UK, attracting headlines annually in the media. The UK Office of National Statistics has launched an Index of child well-being drawing on the indicators produced.

The questionnaires for these surveys were developed into Children’s Worlds, the ISCI international school-based survey of children funded by the Jacobs Foundation. The survey is managed from the University of York, and Gwyther Rees and Jonathan Bradshaw are two of the principal investigators. 

Jonathan Bradshaw said:

"We are delighted to win this award. Our collaboration with the Children's Society has been a really enjoyable and productive partnership. The Good Childhood Report has had an important impact internationally and has highlighted concerns about UK policies for children and a deterioration in their wellbeing since 2010.”

The project, which emerged from meetings of the International Society for Child Indicators (ISCI) and UNICEF, is an international collaborative survey project designed to fill important gaps in knowledge, internationally, about children’s lives.

Gwyther Rees co-authored the report summarising findings from the first wave (2014), while Rees, Main and Bradshaw have authored the main reports from the second wave (20152016). The second wave then generated a book by Rees; 21 journal articles including two special editions edited by Rees and Bradshaw; and presentations at the UK Cabinet Office and the European Parliament about measuring child well-being using the Children’s Worlds survey.

The third wave is in progress with papers presented from many countries at a conference in University of Nantes in June 2019. The next Good Childhood Report is due to be published on August 28 2019.