I have in the past been contacted by headteachers at local schools who have experienced problems in supporting children who have chaotic home lives. Headteachers are often tasked with managing and addressing difficult and delicate family situations and it’s important that these families are given the right support to help ensure that every child is in the best possible position to learn at school. To highlight these concerns, I took the opportunity to raise this with the Minister responsible, Edward Timpson, Minister of State for Children and Families at the Department for Education.
I was encouraged by the Minister’s response and welcome the Government’s ambitious programme to support troubled families. The Troubled Families Programme saw nearly 120,000 families receive life-changing support in the last Parliament and I am pleased that over the next 5 years, it will see a further 400,000 families receive this support; delivering services to tackle truancy and anti-social behaviour and providing targeted support to the families who need it most.
I am pleased that this programme will be extended and will continue to support families across the country and families here in Amber Valley. Education is key to a good start in life and it’s absolutely imperative that we ensure our children are able to get the support they need to ensure that they are able to go to school, to learn and to get on in life.
You can read the full text of my exchange with the Minister below:
Nigel Mills, MP for Amber Valley: Many head teachers in Amber Valley report that they have real problems supporting pupils who are keen to learn but who suffer from chaotic home lives. What more can the Government do to help headteachers in that situation so that they do not end up being a co-ordinator of a social services operation?
Edward Timpson, Minister of State for Children and Families: My hon. Friend raises an important question that many schools raise on how they ensure that every child is in the best possible place at home so that they can learn at school. He will know that the troubled families programme during the last Parliament, which turned around 99% of the 120,000 families, was extremely successful in supporting schools with those difficult families. We now have a more ambitious programme over the next five years involving 400,000 more families, including in the Amber Valley, to ensure that they get the support they need so that their children can go to school to learn and make a good future for themselves.