LibLink: Tim Farron: Let’s extend the pupil premium to young carers

imageOn his recent column on the ALDC Members’ website, Tim Farron has made the case for the Pupil Premium to be extended to young carers:

One of the biggest Lib Dem wins of this Coalition Government has been the Pupil Premium. The Pupil Premium was designed as extra support for kids in our schools who need a little extra help to get the best start in life.

I don’t need to tell you about it; you’ve supported it from an idea in our manifesto to its implementation. I’m preaching to the converted. It’s not just a great idea—it works too in practice.

But many members, including myself, are worried that we are missing out a group of children who really need it. Young carers.

Young carers do a vital, selfless job, often at their own expense. The statistics speak for themselves – 27% of Young Carers of secondary school age experience educational difficulties or miss school, 68% experience bullying and as a group, young carers have a significantly lower attainment level at GCSE. It’s no wonder then, that a young carer between the age of 16-18 is twice as likely to be ‘Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEET).

He went on to praise Stockport’s Liberal Democrat councillors for sharing their motion on doing this and encouraging all other Liberal Democrat council groups in England to do the same.

He went on to talk about his election visits across the country and the good stuff he’d seen done by Liberal Democrat councillors:

Our local Councillors on the ground around the country really are local champions, and it’s been an honour to travel up and down the country, campaigning for their right to stay and continue their amazing work. I’ll be in Manchester Withington and Eastleigh doing that just after the Easter recess.

I’ll be knocking on doors letting locals know about the amazing work the Lib Dem run Eastleigh Council are doing on council tax – they’ve just frozen it for the third year running (a cut in real terms for the 11th year running! ) and what a difference the Lib Dem team in Manchester, led by John Leech, have made with their successful campaign that has seen local wartime hero Alan Turing gain a Royal Pardon quashing his conviction for homosexuality in 1952.

If you are an ALDC member, you can read his whole piece here.  If you are not an ALDC member and you have anything to do with a local election campaign, what are you thinking? Seriously, they have some of the best campaigning resources and those who do what they say are more likely to win. You can join them here.

Graphic above is the Association of Carers Young Carers’ logo

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