Up the minors

May 26, 2000

Geoff Watts's review of the Economic and Social Research Council "Children 5-16" programme ("Coping with mid-kid crises" , THES, May 19) was a useful reminder of the importance of children's own perspective on policy.

What it failed to do was to go beyond the narrow concerns of family policy to indicate the huge range of public and social policy issues to which children can contribute. I collaborated in research for the Children's Society on children's views of the Child Support Act and have reviewed the international literature on the involvement of children in social policy for Barnardo's. This research shows that, handled appropriately, children can - and should - engage in policy development much more extensively than hitherto.

Gary Craig Professor of social justice. University of Hull

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