Stephen Metcalfe MP is standing up for young carers in South Basildon and East Thurrock after attending an even in Parliament this week organised by charity Family Action. Mr Metcalfe is urging schools and colleges to Be Bothered! and put the right support in place for young carers in school.
There were between 4,500 and 6,000 young carers in Essex between 2009 and 2011. Young Carers are children and young people caring for parents with a long term illness, disability or mental health issue. Some young carers also care for siblings or grandparents. This role can often negatively impact on young carers performance at school resulting in problems with attendance and punctuality or poor behaviour.
The campaign also calls for the Government to do more to encourage schools to support young carers including using the pupil premium to support this group.
Stephen Metcalfe MP signed up to Family Action’s Be Bothered! Make Education Count for Young Carers campaign to help raise awareness of the impact of caring roles on vulnerable young people. The campaign calls for schools and colleges to put the right support in place for young carers to improve their education experience and give them the same opportunity to do well in school as their non-caring peers.
Family Action is a national charity that works with disadvantaged and vulnerable families providing emotional, practical and financial support. As part of their work they provide young carers services that work in partnership with schools and local authorities to reduce the negative impacts of caring on children and families. Schools that work with local young carers services can significantly improve the experience of their young carers by putting effective policies and procedures in place.
Mr Metcalfe said: “I was delighted to attend Family Action’s Be Bothered! Make Education Count for Young Carers Parliamentary Reception and show my support for this often hidden group of young people. With research showing approximately one in twelve secondary schools pupils could have caring responsibilities, and some young carers are as young as five, its vital that we work to ensure young carers are supported to do well in school and at home.”
Family Action Chief Executive, Helen Dent said: “It was great to see Stephen Metcalfe MP at our event supporting young carers. We know from our work that organisations including schools and local authorities working together with young carers services can make a real difference to young carers futures. Schools looking for information and support to make education count for young carers can access our Be Bothered! Bulletin filled with hits and tips at www.family-action.org.uk/bebothered”