Posted: Mon 8th Jun 2020

Coronavirus and Me – Wales’ youngsters share views and concerns during pandemic

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 8th, 2020

The results of an online survey asking Wales’ children and young people for their opinions during the Coronavirus pandemic have been published.

Welsh Government teamed up with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales and the Welsh Youth Parliament to design the nation wide ‘Coronavirus and Me Survey.’

More than 20,000 youngsters aged 3-18 shared their views on how they were feeling during the pandemic and what worries and concerns they had.

The survey found that 37% of children and young people said that they were not worried about Coronavirus on the day they completed the survey.

A similar number (38%) felt the same level of worry that they had the week before, while smaller numbers felt more worried (12%) or less worried (14%).

Some were worried about how long the situation would last, and they were worried that they or those they love will catch the virus.

Children who were not worried or were less worried said they felt they were being kept safe, daily numbers of deaths were decreasing, children were less affected, or they were avoiding watching too much news.

The majority (58%) of children and young people said that they have felt happy most of the time during the crisis and a large majority (84%) report feeling safe most of the time.

Young people of secondary age had more negative feelings than younger children, with 16% feeling sad ‘most of the time’.

2% overall said that they have ‘not very often’ felt safe.

The top three responses from young people (12-18) on which stay at home rules have impacted the most on how they feel are ‘not being able to spend time with friends’ (72%), ‘not being able to visit family members’ (59%) and ‘school or college closing’ (42%).

Youngsters spoke of positive aspects of the experience of the Coronavirus crisis.

For many there has been a pleasure in spending more time with their family, learning new skills and enjoying the outdoors in gardens and during daily exercise.

For some, this period has also brought relief from previous social and health pressures such as mental health difficulties or bullying.

The majority said that they know where to get help but only 39% of young people age 12-18 would feel confident seeking school counselling at the current time.

In terms of education, 12-18 year olds reported worries: only 11% of respondents in this age group stated they did not feel worried about their education, and the most commonly reported concern they had about learning was that they were worried about falling behind (54%).

Respondents overwhelmingly said they were contacted by their place of education, with only 1-2% of respondents across the different surveys reporting no contact.

Themes emerging from a sample of 2000 comments show that many children would like more contact and support from their school, with more online provision.  

There are also specific challenges around access to electronic devices and pressures in the home environment, and other challenges faced by children with additional learning needs.

Year 6 children overwhelmingly want to say goodbye to their primary school (76%) and visit their secondary school before school starts (75%).

How do young people feel about cancelled exams? Only 17% of young people feel happy that exams have been cancelled.  Young people were more likely to feel uncertain (51%) or worried (18%).  Young people also report feeling angry (6%) and sad (5%).

In total, 23,719 children and young people participated in this consultation. 23,488 took part by completing a survey.

The evidence collected in the survey will inform Welsh policy-makers’ response, information and communication to children and young people during the crisis.

Read the report

Download the Coronavirus and me report

Download a shorter version with symbols to help you read

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