For many children and young people the start of the new school term means a big change in their lives, such as moving from primary to secondary school. This transition can often be a stressful time for children, even when they feel well prepared by their primary school and well supported at home.
Some children are carrying an extra burden, which can affect their school life, their friendships and their ability to reach their potential. These children are young carers, whose daily routine means juggling schoolwork with essential care for a family member at home. This can be a cause of great worry to a child.
In Stockport we have very good services for young carers, through the valuable work of Signpost Young Carers. Signpost works alongside primary and secondary schools, providing a package of support which enables these children to take part in school activities and have the same opportunities as their classmates. Indeed, Signpost support means that they are able to get a break from their caring responsibilities and enjoy their childhood.
Back in March I wrote to Minister for Children and Families about young carers in Stockport and the wonderful work that is being done in Stockport by Signpost Young Carers.
Signpost works alongside local schools to provide support for young carers to experience the same opportunities as their peers.
I was interested to hear what plans the government have to ensure that when a young carer moves they do not lose the crucial support they receive from their local authority. Furthermore, I asked whether the Government might consider plans to include provisions for young carers as part of the assessment criteria for Oftsed inspections.
My initial letter to the Department for Education can be found here.
The response from Nadhim Zahawi can be found here
Over recent months I have been carrying out a survey to find out more about the situation of people with caring responsibilities in Stockport. I have had a positive response to this survey with lots of feedback from local residents.
The Department of Health are currently developing the Government’s next Strategy for Carers and I have now provided a written submission to be included in the Department of Health’s consultation with a summary of the issues and concerns that local residents have raised in response to my survey. You can read my submission to the Department of Health’s consultation here – http://anncoffeymp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Response-to-Depart-of-Health-consultation.pdf.
If you live within my Stockport constituency and would like to complete my carers survey, you can do so via the following link – https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MMRKWQQ. I should be most grateful for your comments.