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23 Jun 2005 : Column 1182W—continued

Young Carers

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps the Government have taken to encourage school nurses to address the needs of young carers. [5495]

Maria Eagle: The Government are currently taking action to increase the numbers of school nurses and to develop and promote a modern role that has the support of children, young people and their families, the profession, education and the NHS.

School nurses have a specific role in supporting children and young people with ongoing or specialist needs and this would include children who are young carers. School nurses have good networks and working relationships with other health and social care professionals. They will also have a good working knowledge of other statutory agencies and local voluntary provision. In addition to seeing children and young people in school and community settings, school nurses are also able to undertake home visits.