Carers Trust has joined together with The Children’s Society to run the Young Carers in Schools programme to equip schools to support young carers and award effective practice. This innovative, national programme of training and accreditation is funded by The Queen’s Trust and the Big Lottery Fund.
Who are Young Carers?
Young carers are children and young people under 18 years old who provide care and emotional support to someone who is physically or mentally ill, disabled or misuses substances. Young carers often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult. There are believed to be many more young carers than official figures show.
Young carers are a vulnerable and disadvantaged group, who often experience difficulties in their education. Without support, they can struggle to attend school and make good progress and a quarter of young carers have said they are bullied because of their caring role.
Research from The Children’s Society (2013) shows that:
- Around 1 in 20 young carers miss school because of their caring responsibilities.
- They have significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level – the difference between nine B’s and nine C’s.
- They are more likely that the national average not to be in education, employment or training (NEET) between 16 and 19.
- A quarter of young carers said they were bullied at school because of their caring role.
About the Programme
The programme aims to increase the awareness of young carers in schools, for both staff and pupils, meaning that:
- Young carers attend and enjoy school and reach their full potential.
- Schools are enabled to identify and support young carers.
- Young carers have improved wellbeing and are better prepared for independent lives.
- Parents and carers are supported to enable their children to attend school.
- A school culture which is fully accessible, understands and respects disability and caring.
- Young carers have the same life opportunities as other children.
Participating in the Young Carers in Schools programme will demonstrate that your school is meeting the needs of a particularly vulnerable group of pupils. Through the programme you will also have access to:
- “Steps to Success”: A step by step guide to setting up an effective model of identification and support, with accompanying templates, tools and exemplars.
- Expert regional networks bringing together schools, young carer services, and health and social care professionals for peer-to-peer learning and training.
- The Young Carers in Schools Award, enabling your school to gain recognition from several leading charities for effective practice.
2014-2015 – The programme starts piloting at the early implementation sites [link to news page with list of sites].
February 2015 – The launch of “Steps to Success”.
September 2015 – National roll-out of Young Carers in School Award. Prior to the national roll-out of the award all schools and their partners can access the “Steps to Success”, their regional networks and the resources.