Children Taken Seriously in Theory, Policy and Practice

Children Taken Seriously in Theory, Policy and Practice
Edited by Jan Mason and Toby Fattore, £22.95
ISBN:  1843102501


As the title suggests, this is a book not to be taken lightly. It tackles the subject of children and their role in society in a very comprehensive but somewhat theoretical manner. Each chapter explores children’s experiences, participation and influences from a variety of perspectives, writes Gladys Rhodes.

The subjects vary from an analysis of working children and how children experience education, to child protection and children’s lack of influence in politics.

There is very little contribution from children themselves, however. A greater inclusion of children’s own experiences, voices and perspectives might have given the book a more balanced approach and a greater appeal to a wider audience.

The content is valid but the presentation style isn’t particularly accessible or easy to digest in one read.

This is not a book that would maintain the interest of your average teacher, social worker or child-care professional as a spot of light reading. It would, however, be very useful as a resource for reference or study purposes.

The book has a complex blend of theoretical perspectives that may appeal to anyone working in children’s rights services or in a research or policy role.

There is a wealth of information devoted to the consideration of children as important beings, visible in their own right. This is really the strength of the book and, while the style is quite heavy, the content is topical and extremely worthwhile.

Gladys Rhodes is head of the early years excellence children’s trust at Blackburn with Darwen Council

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