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Young People: Carers

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to ensure that (a) schools identify young carers amongst their students and (b) that they liaise with carers’ organisations and local authorities in order to meet the needs of those students. (187824)

Schools have a key role in supporting young carers. They have responsibilities to all their pupils including a new duty for maintained schools to promote the well-being of their pupils under the Education and Inspections Act 2006. We look to schools to create a supportive environment that responds flexibly to each child’s personal circumstances. Within this context, the Government have made a commitment to improving the awareness of young carers’ circumstances among teachers and others working in schools. For example, this year we are supporting the development of good practice guidance for those working with young carers and their families, which will include a section on what schools can do to identify and support them. Also, we are making sure that the particular needs of young carers are taken account of in our guidance for schools, such as that on behaviour, attendance and bullying.

The cross-Government review of carers now under way is a welcome opportunity to re-assess the support available to young carers. Young carers have been consulted, and stakeholder bodies with knowledge of the issues are fully engaged.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what information his Department collects on the number of young carers in (a) schools and (b) further education. (187826)