Governing boards are responsible for ensuring that all the children in their schools get the best possible education, so that they can reach their full potential. Unfortunately some children face greater barriers than others on the road to success, and young carers have a particular set of challenges that they must overcome. Despite their best intentions, schools often overlook young carers or aren’t sure how to best meet their needs, and this leaves many of these pupils vulnerable to underachievement both at school and in later life. But although they face unique challenges, in many cases young carers also have a unique combination of skills, and with the correct support they can flourish. It is therefore vital that schools identify and effectively support young carers, and governors have a key role in ensuring that this happens.
The National Governors’ Association became involved in the Young Carers in Schools Programme because we believe it is important that all schools do their very best for young carers. The Programme makes it easy for schools to access the resources they need to do this, including specific information for governors. It also celebrates those schools which already display good practice via the Young Carers in Schools Award. We would encourage all schools – whatever stage they are at – to engage with the Young Carers in Schools Programme, so that they can make a positive difference to the lives of these young people who do so much for others.