Search Under Way For New Children’s Commissioner
Who would you choose? A professor, a children’s author, or maybe an athlete… ? Senedd correspondent David Williamson looks at who could be in the running for the role of Children’s Commissioner – as well as some more unusual suggestions
Professor Morgan, 53, will never be as famous as Jamie Oliver, but he is one of the most influential champions of quality school meals. He was also one of the key campaigners for devolution and remains uncynical about how bread-and-butter policies decided at a grassroots level can transform lives.
Recently retired as head of the NUT teaching union in Wales, Mr Lewis is known for his passionate commitment to building the best environment in which a child can grow up. Having battled in the education sector he might seize the freedom and breadth of purpose this position would offer.
TANNI GREY- THOMPSON
The Paralympian would be much more than a celebrity candidate. The 38-year-old has a degree in politics and social administration and regularly makes major speeches on policy.
The Acting Children’s Commissioner will be a front-runner for the post if she throws her hat into the ring. She will have to convince the appointment panel she will bring fresh ideas to the post that will challenge the Establishment.
The 63-year-old is one of the most celebrated children’s authors since Roald Dahl. Not only can he excite the imagination of young readers, he can empathise with their struggles. With his wife he founded Farms for City Children – one of which is in Pembrokeshire.
The last thing the Children’s Commissioner should be is a party political post, but someone with a political background could bring a strategic understanding of policy formation to the role. Tory AM Mr Morgan, born in 1974, is among the youngest and fastest-rising politicians in Wales. He has studied the minutiae of education policy and might relish the challenge of a seven-year term in this high-profile position.
Mr Jackson, 40, epitomises athletic excellence and is an icon for a diverse and thriving Wales. An entrepreneur, he would ensure that the Commissioner would cut through red tape and escape the confines of the public sector to engage with children on their own terms.
Why might a 38-year-old Hollywood star with an Australian accent be a candidate to champion children? Some of her most formative years in a tumultuous childhood were spent living with her grandparents in Anglesey, where she studied Welsh. A canny actress, she would use her celebrity to push children’s rights into the spotlight..