If your school is just beginning its YCiS journey, here’s how you can prepare for your Young Carers in Schools Award application.
Where do I start?
If your school is new to supporting young carers, it might seem like a daunting prospect. This is a group of pupils not currently eligible for Pupil Premium, but who can often be vulnerable, and who may require support in order to succeed and achieve in school. The first thing to remember is that you are not starting from scratch.
Your school undoubtedly has policies and procedures in place to support vulnerable and disadvantaged pupil groups already, and with a little tweaking these can nearly always be adapted to be accessible to young carers.
You should start by completing a Baseline Review – an audit tool that allows you to see what provision you already have in place for young carers, what provision you can adapt to suit young carers, and identify those areas you may need to improve.
You can use the Baseline Review as a working document, and keep track of your progress. Standard 5 of the Silver Award asks for “evidence of how established links with other organisations in the local community – including the young carers services and emotional well-being support – have been used to develop effective practice,” and by tracking your progress from the very beginning, you will be better able to show how you have developed effective practice.
The Young Carers in Schools Award is divided into three levels, Bronze, Silver, and Gold.
A Bronze level school:
Creates support within school, relatively independently, to support young carers.
A Silver level school:
Starts to work in a more multi-agency way to ensure young carers get the appropriate in-school, and out of school support.
A Gold level school:
Is embedding a whole-family approach, ensuring that young carers and their families are gaining the support they need to reduce the levels of inappropriate caring and allow the young person to fully access education and leisure activities.
It can be quite straightforward to gather the evidence to apply for the Bronze Award, but when you come to applying for the Silver and Gold, you will find it much easier if you have been saving your evidence along the way.
What should I be saving?
Some of the key things you should be saving are:
• Assembly and training presentations – this way you can demonstrate what information is being shared with pupils and staff.
• Dates – any young carers meetings, presentations, or training sessions. You might save the agenda, the calendar invitation, or just take a picture of the diary page.
• Feedback – whether this is feedback from staff following a training session, or feedback from young carers themselves on how they are supported within the school; you could also show us how this feedback has influenced any change or progress.
• Interventions and outcomes – Standard 1 of the Silver Award asks for evidence of your school’s monitoring of young carers’ attendance and attainment. By tracking these, and by monitoring the interventions used should a young carer’s attendance or attainment drop below a certain level, you can show us how your school is working to support your young carers to attend and achieve. You can also keep track of any referrals – particularly if they have resulted in the reduction of a young person’s caring role.
To get a more comprehensive idea of the evidence you are required to provide, you should review each of the levels in the Award Pack.
Top tips when applying for a YCiS Award
The next submission deadline for Award applications is Friday 25th May. Find out more about submitting an application.
• Any photos you submit must be clear, high-resolution jpeg or png files.
• Be mindful of the new GDPR regulations, and do not share any information with us that could be used to identify an individual without their explicit consent.
• Label all your files clearly, and submit your evidence in five folders: one for each Standard of the level you are applying for.
If you have any questions about supporting young carers in your school, or about applying for a Young Carers in Schools Award, please email us on YCiS@childrenssociety.org.uk.
Congratulations to Basildon Upper Academy, Essex, Easthampstead Park Community School, Bracknell Forest, George Spicer Primary School, Enfield, Grand Avenue Primary and Nursery School, Kingston upon Thames, and Senacre Wood Primary School, Kent, who all achieved a Bronze Young Carers in Schools Award this month!
And a special congratulations to St. Damian’s RC Science College, Tameside, who achieved a GOLD Young Carers in Schools Award!