Young carers will begin training school nurses in how to best support them, the government has announced.
Official figures show that 60% of young carers are bullied in school and 30% are absent from school or experience education difficulties.
Experts believe school nurses are “ideally positioned” to make big changes in the lives of young people.
The scheme, announced as part of plans to give school nurses a “more important role,” will encourage school nurses to become local leaders in children’s health.
School nurses and their teams will lead a “strengthened” service which could mean better care and support for children, including those with disabilities and complex emotional needs.
Dr Moira Fraser, director of policy and research at charity the Carers Trust said: “They are well placed to identify young carers earlier and implement preventative support.
She added: “We are pleased that young carers themselves will shape the work of school nurses by training them in how to provide the best support.”
Children’s health minister Dr Dan Poulter announced England’s 1,200 school nurses will be given more training.
New responsibilities could mean school nurses would have to be available outside of school hours.
Dr Poulter said: “School nurses play a crucial role in improving health and supporting young people.
“I want them to have an even bigger role and provide even better support for more young people with different health needs and conditions.”
Already 300 young people have signed up to become ‘school nurse champions’.
The government also announced the best school nurses will be rewarded through a new, national school nurse award.
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