BREXIT fears and exam and school stress are what South West parents are most worried about for their children in 2019, a survey by children's charity Barnardo’s has found.

With 2018 drawing to a close, the UK’s leading children’s charity commissioned YouGov to poll parents of 4 to 18-year-olds across the nation to find out what their hopes and fears are for their children in the next year.

In the survey, 54 per cent of South West parents were either fairly concerned or very concerned about what 2019 will have in store for their children.

Topping the concerns were fears over exam and school stress at 48 per cent, followed by 43 per cent who worried that Brexit may have a negative impact on their child’s future and the same number who worried that their children may suffer from online or offline bullying.

In addition, 34 per cent worried about cuts to children’s services such as education, early years services and youth clubs, while the same number said they are concerned their children may develop mental health issues and not get appropriate or timely support,

Just under a fifth (19 per cent) are worried their children will be affected by drugs or knife crime, either as a victim or a perpetrator, and the same number worried about keeping their children safe online.

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “This poll provides a unique insight into what parents think as we near the end of 2018, and also provides some warning signs about problems that could develop if they aren’t treated.

“It is troubling, although not surprising, that so many parents are concerned about their children being stressed about school and exams.

“Learning how to cope with stress is a vital life skill. Without this, children can find it overwhelming, and then it can develop into a serious mental health issue. Schools must look at ways to reduce the stress their pupils face, and how to deal with it.

“The Government must also take note of parents' concerns about cuts to children’s services and provide much-needed funding to plug the £3 billion shortfall in funding.

"Otherwise, we will see even less support for the vital work children’s services do – like counselling children to overcome trauma, helping them to stay in education or making sure they have a secure home.”

It is not all doom and gloom though, as parents have high hopes for their children being happy and healthy in 2019.

The majority of South West parents (86 per cent) hope their offspring will feel loved and supported, 82 per cent hope they will be mentally and physically healthy and 81 per cent hope they will develop healthy friendships.

More than a third (34 per cent) say they hope Brexit will lead to good future opportunities for their children.