England’s first ever children’s commissioner announced

    Professor Al Aynsley-Green has been appointed as the first
    ever children’s commissioner, the government announced today,
    writes Clare Jerrom.

    The revelation follows months of speculation as to who would
    take up the post which was created through the Children Act

    Aynsley-Green is currently the National Clinical Director for
    Children within the Department for Health.

    He said: “I will be drawing on my experience of working
    with children and young people to help ensure that those with the
    power to improve children’s lives do live up to their

    The commissioner will have the powers to:-

    New Asset  
    The new commissioner

    • identify the needs of children and young people

    • initiate inquiries on behalf of young people

    • look into matters relating to the interests and wellbeing
    of children.

    The appointment has been broadly welcomed across the social care
    sector. “Al Aynsley-Green has an excellent track record in
    championing children and young people,” said NCB chief executive
    Paul Ennals.

    “As national clinical director for children, responsible for the
    Children’s National Service Framework, he has shown the ability and
    the determination to make a real difference to children’s

    Carolyne Willow, national co-ordinator of the Children’s Rights
    Alliance added: “Professor Aynsley-Green has an excellent track
    record of pushing forward children’s interests and concerns.”

    Hilton Dawson MP,  Esther Rantzen and Susanna Cheal, the chief
    executive of the Who Cares? Trust, were all thought to have applied
    for the job.

    There are three children’s commissioners in place in the UK.
    Peter Clarke is the children’s commissioner for Wales,
    Kathleen Marshall represents children and young people in Scotland
    and Nigel Williams is the children’s commissioner for
    Northern Ireland.

    Aynsley-Green will take up his duties immediately, becoming
    full-time on 1 July 2005.

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