Newsround celebrates 35 years of broadcasting with survey on lives of children
Survey on real life in 21st century explodes modern myths on childhood
- 1 in 4 don't count their fathers as immediate family
- 74% like school
- 62% feel their parents worry about them too much
- Most want to play outside – not on their computer
- a third want to help the environment
- ...and they think Britain is a great place to live
CBBC's Newsround today unveiled the results of a survey commissioned to
discover what life is really like for 21st century children.
conducted by Childwise on behalf of Newsround, interviewed 1,000
children in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales aged 6 to 12 and
explores the key elements of children's lives including family,
education, fears, the UK and the future.
Newsround's research marks 35
years of broadcasting as the only children's television news service in
The Newsround survey suggests a surprising snapshot of children.
Many children surveyed describe themselves as happy (78%), funny (47%), and
clever (41%), and almost all feel ok with the way they are (91%),
but revealingly a third (34%) would like to change the way they look,
particularly girls (40%).
Their priorities in life are being kind, but interestingly
excelling at sport is cited ahead of being intelligent, and being rich.
Almost all would prefer to talk to their friends face-to-face
rather than online.
62% of children surveyed feel their parents worry too much about
A quarter of children avoid going out alone, with some hiding
valuables and 2% carrying a weapon for protection.
Children feel least safe in the dark, but worryingly 12% feel
unsafe on the street and 8% on an aeroplane.
Being bullied is what children are most afraid of, the survey suggests, but children
now hold real fears about being stabbed or shot (10%) and worry about
war and terrorism (6%).
Children are also concerned about crime (14%) and they share
their parents' concerns on drugs (7%), pollution/litter (7%), terrorism
(6%) and global warming (4%).
Mums are central to children's lives. When asked to describe who
was in their immediate family 96% chose their mum, but one in four
children did not count their dad as immediate family. This rose to 33%
for C2DE children.
If something went wrong, most children would turn to their mum
for help (76%) but only 11% of children would turn to their father.
Almost one-third of girls admire their mums, while a quarter of
boys admire footballers. "David Beckham, he is a really good footballer and he has loads of
money," boy, aged 8.
13% of children never eat together as a family. This figure
rises to 21% in Scotland.
Children want their parents to stop shouting and nagging and
to trust them more.
"Give me more space, stop nagging," boy, aged 7. "My daddy sleeps a lot and I don't get enough time with him," girl, aged
8. "Stop shouting at me," boy, aged 12.
They are aware of what worries their parents – 74% of 9-12 year
olds know what worries mum and dad including money, their children,
family, jobs and safety.
56% of children would like to spend more time doing things with
School is central to children's lives and exam results are
important: 78% agree that you need good exam results to be successful
in life and 74% of children enjoy school.
Children in Northern Ireland enjoy school the least (61%) and
have least concern about exam results (52%), according to the survey. However, children in
Scotland and Wales enjoy school the most (80%).
Just one in five children think class sizes are too big or buildings
are in bad condition.
Many would like to do more PE (particularly boys, 45%) and
this is particularly high in Northern Ireland where more than half of
children want more PE.
Most bullying happens at school. One in three has been bullied
at school and one in five elsewhere.
Almost a third of children are keen to help the environment.
Nearly a quarter say they would delay changing (upgrading) their mobile to help
the environment and 32% of girls say they would give up some pocket money each
week to help.
While many children are fed up with hearing about crime, 19%
have said they are fed up with news about celebrities, followed by 9%
who cited healthy living.
Most children think their childhood is better than their
67% think that Britain is a great place to live.
If they were Prime Minister for the day nearly one in ten would
stop school, while many children would want to stop life's bigger
problems ie, poverty, crime, war and pollution.
"Stop crimes, make prisoners stay in prison for longer," boy, aged 8.
"I would not allow people to throw litter on the ground – keep the
environment clean," girl, aged 7.
Children are, unsurprisingly, excited about Christmas and
birthdays, but they are also excited about getting a job (13%),
travelling (11%) and just growing up (6%).
"Growing up, because I'd feel a lot more free, can do more stuff," boy,
Tellingly, when asked about what they would like to be when they
grow up, 38% of boys wanted to be a sportman or footballer, while
girls wanted to either be a teacher (12%), hairdresser (11%) or nurse
Sinead Rocks, Editor, Newsround said; "Our research has given us a fascinating insight into the lives of
children in the UK in 2007.
"In many ways it contradicts popular thought
on what life is like for them and at the same time it throws up
interesting questions about the relationships they have with their
friends, family and other adults.
"As the UK's only news programme for children, Newsround prides itself
on giving young people the chance to have their say on the issues that
matter to them and we hope to be able to track the results of this
survey over time."
Newsround's aim has always been to help children make sense of the world
around them and to enable them to have their say about what is going on.
This research suggests that children are aware of disturbing news
stories, which makes Newsround a valuable resource in enabling children
to put news and current affairs into context.
Even after 35 years, Newsround is still as relevant today as when it
first began broadcasting from a corner of the BBC newsroom back in 1972.
Newsround provides 36 programmes every week for BBC One, BBC Two and the
CBBC channel, a spin-off Saturday sports show, daily radio bulletins,
web updates, comprehensive backgrounders, mobile phone headlines and
video on demand.
Newsround is available on BBC One, CBBC and online at
Notes to Editors
Newsround first began in 1972 with three members of staff who
shared two typewriters in a corner of the BBC newsroom.
The idea for Newsround came from Edward Barnes who drafted in a
young John Craven for what began as a six-week experiment.
Newsround alumni: Roger Finn, Helen Rollason, Juliet Morris,
Krishnan Guru-Murthy, Julie Etchingham, Chris Rogers, Kate Sanderson,
Matthew Price, Becky Jago, Paul McDowell, Paul Welsh, Terry
Baddoo and Justin Webb.
In 1986 Newsround broke the story of the Challenger Shuttle
Currently, 50 people work around the clock in the basement of
BBC Children's HQ in White City.
Newsround is currently presented by Ellie Crisell, Adam Fleming,
Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes, Sonali Gudka, Laura Jones, Lizo Mzimba and
Newsround has more than a quarter of a million Press Packers;
members of Newsround's online journalism club.
In 2007 Newsround has covered the Iraq war and reported on
issues as diverse and hard-hitting as child poverty, the murder of
schoolboy Rhys Jones and the case of Madeline McCann.
Newsround has won the Children's BAFTA for Best Factual
Programme for the child poverty special The Wrong Trainers.
The Newsround team also make weekly spin-off show, Sportsround,
which has been on air since 2005.
ChildWise is an independent market research agency specialising
in research with children for over 20 years.
The company carries out surveys for a wide range of
organisations, including government, charities, and commercial
Their work is governed by the Market Research Society Code of
Conduct, and conforms to strict standards when working with children.
The research method
1,000 face to face in home interviews
Boys and girls aged 6-12 years
England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
Robust sample sizes for all key subgroups
Fieldwork weeks commencing 1 and 8 October 2007