University of Cambridge > > Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars > Children in Distress: past precedents and current experience

Children in Distress: past precedents and current experience

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Lucian Stephenson.

Children in Distress (1968) was a Penguin Education Series publication co-authored by Sir Alec Clegg, Chief Education Officer of the West Riding of Yorkshire (1945–1974) with teacher and educational administrator Barbara Megson. This book ‘drew on the knowledge, experience and wisdom’ of many teachers, aiming to address what schools could do to help the wellbeing of children and adolescents. Forty-nine years later, the surviving co-author Barbara Megson reflects that the book started a conversation but did not provide all the answers. Concerns about stress and inequalities faced by young people in education and in wider society today are currently discussed and researched with a sense of urgency. In May 2017 the Commons Health and Education Committees published their joint report on Children and young people’s mental health: the role of education.

Our seminar provides an opportunity to draw on the perspectives of five professionals who work with young people and who will offer their insights to initiate further discussion. These invited contributors are: Sir Tim Brighouse (formerly a Chief Education Officer in city and county LEAS and London Schools’ Commissioner), Dr Carl Emery (Research Associate, Manchester Institute of Education, University of Manchester), Dr Carrie Herbert MBE (Founder and President of Red Balloon Learner Centre Group), Caroline Peet (Executive Headteacher, Queens’ Federation, Cambridge) and Alison Roy (Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist).

The seminar is part of the Sir Alec Clegg Revisited 12 month research project led by the Faculty of Education. For more information, contact the project’s research assistant, Lottie Hoare (

This talk is part of the Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars series.

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