Peers including the Vice President of Barnardos and a former primary school head teacher will debate child development in the UK, and its bearing on national wellbeing on Thursday 11 October.
The Lord Bishop of Chester, who tabled the debate and will therefore speak first, said:
“The importance of children for the overall health of society has been a recurring theme in political debate in recent years. And the response of throwing money at the problems our children face is no longer a limitless option, given the current financial crisis. However, I believe that it is not so much a lack of money as the widespread problem of the neglect of children in our society that needs addressing.
“It is the role of parents which needs strengthening and the support of wider society, so they can provide stable, loving, secure and safe environments for our children to thrive. Parenting should not be taken over by the state, but we must all recognise the role we have to play in collectively raising healthy, happy children, who will reflect on the nation’s wellbeing as a whole. I look forward to the wide debate around the many and varied contributing factors in this issue and to hearing about the Government’s current thinking in this area.”
Other Members scheduled to speak include:
- Baroness Benjamin (Liberal Democrat), Vice President of Barnardos;
- Lord Storey (Liberal Democrat), former primary school head teacher;
- Lord Sacks (Crossbench), Chief Rabbi; and
- Baroness Walmsley (Liberal Democrat), ambassador for the NSPCC and former party spokesperson for children, schools and families.
The Bishop of Derby, Baroness King of Bow (Labour), Lord Eames (Crossbench), Lord Mackay of Clashfern (Conservative), Baroness Worthington (Labour), Baroness Howe of Idlicote (Crossbench), Lord Low of Dalston (Crossbench), Baroness Massey of Darwen (Labour), Lord McFall of Alcluith (Labour/Co-operative) and Lord Northbourne (Crossbench) are also expected to take part in the debate.
Baroness Garden of Frognall (Liberal Democrat) will respond on behalf of the Government.
The debate is open to media and the public. Please allow time for security screening.
The debate will also be broadcast live on Parliament TV.