Young People: Carers

Department for Education written question – answered on 28th February 2020.

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Photo of Henry Smith Henry Smith Conservative, Crawley

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that young carers and their families are (a) identified and (b) adequately supported so that those young people can be helped to achieve at school.

Photo of Vicky Ford Vicky Ford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The government is committed to supporting young carers so that they are properly protected from excessive or inappropriate caring responsibilities and are supported to achieve their full potential. Consistent identification remains challenging, with many being ‘hidden’ and therefore unrecognised and/or unsupported.

Changes through the Children and Families Act 2014 simplified the legislation relating to young adult carers’ assessments, making rights and duties clearer to both young people and practitioners. This included promoting whole family approaches which triggers both and adult support services into action – assessing why a child is caring, what needs to change and what would help the family to prevent children or young people from taking on this responsibility in the first place.

The Department for Education also provides schools with £2.4 billion each year in additional funding through the pupil premium to support disadvantaged pupils. We expect schools to make effective use of their pupil premium budgets. Schools know their pupils best and will spend the grant accordingly to meet pupil needs, which includes where needs are based on a parent’s health issues or disability.

We published the Children in Need Review conclusion in 2019. This sets out our approach to helping schools and children’s social care improve the educational outcomes of children in need, including those young carers assessed as being in need of help and protection.

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