Something else we seem to be world beating at..

Or at least beating the rest of Europe at…

According to the 2020 release of the annual Good Childhood Report from the Children’s Society, children in Romania enjoyed the highest levels of life satisfaction, with 85% feeling positive, Finland was next with 84% and Spain and France were respectively 82% and 80% .

The UK ranked lowest of 24 European countries for the proportion of children with high life satisfaction, 23rd for low sadness (ie the second highest proportion with high sadness), and lowest for having a positive sense of purpose in life.

The UK had the largest increase in relative child poverty between 2015-18, about four percentage points, whereas child poverty fell on average by about two percentage points across the remaining 24 countries.

According to a report in the Independent:

The findings “raise questions about whether increasing levels of child poverty in the UK may be having a detrimental effect on children’s subjective well-being”, the charity said.

I think we can safely delete the ‘may’ in that paragraph..

It is contemptible that we have a government that boasts that Britain is the fifth or sixth richest economy in the world but can find neither the desire nor ability to ensure that all our children are happier, tested and pressurised as they also now are to within an inch of their lives.

As the government has ensured that the wheels have fallen off the exam system once – and the following year’s examinees having also substantially missed out on their teaching, will also have to be allowed some substantial latitude – it surely calls into doubt the necessity and effectiveness of the examination system in indicating a child’s future.

In fact, children themselves are British society’s future – we need first and foremost, to prioritise their welfare.

That’s what we need to be world- beating at.


  1. B. Gray -

    If it is any consolation, according to the 2020 OECD report on Well Being, the US actually lags the UK and OECD averages in overall well being and inequalities. Specifically, wealth and income inequality, poverty, obesity, and premature mortality (for all reasons). While the report does not specially address childhood well being, I would imagine U.S. would fall behind the UK in that index as well. Of course being better than the U.S. in well being is pretty much like being the “tallest midget” in the circus.

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