Covid inquiry studies impact on children

The UK Covid Inquiry has recently announced the opening of an investigation into the impact of the pandemic on children and young people. This inquiry will examine various aspects including education, development, mental health, and the use of social media among children and young people. The investigation aims to listen to children with special educational needs, disabilities, and from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

Public hearings for this inquiry are expected to begin in 2025. Initially, when the draft terms of the Covid inquiry were published in 2022, there was criticism that the impact on children and young people was not adequately addressed. However, after a public consultation, the inquiry expanded its scope to include the effects on children's health, wellbeing, and education.

The inquiry, which began in 2022, has already discussed seven modules in public hearings, covering topics such as the UK's preparedness for a pandemic and the impact of Covid on healthcare systems. Module eight, chaired by former High Court judge Baroness Heather Hallett, will focus on the impact of the pandemic on children and young people.

Baroness Hallett emphasized the various ways in which children and young people have been affected by the pandemic, including loss of loved ones, missed academic opportunities, and disruptions to social development. The module will explore how children were considered in decision-making processes during the pandemic.

Themes covered in this module will include consideration of children in pandemic planning, the impact of measures like mask mandates and social distancing, effects on education, physical and mental health, access to healthcare, social care services, and online resources.

Those interested in participating in the inquiry can apply through the Covid inquiry website until June 17, 2024. Additionally, there is a research project collecting the voices and views of children and young people affected by Covid to ensure a diverse range of perspectives are heard. The inquiry's listening project, "Every Story Matters," is also collecting stories from parents, carers, teachers, and others who supported children and young people during the pandemic.


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