Step 2

Supporting Young Carers in Schools

Step 2

Reviewing your School’s Provision for Young Carers

Resource title: Supporting young Carers in School
Published: 2022 Author: Carers Trust

Whether your school has been developing systems to identify and support young carers over many years, or is developing or just starting to develop its provision for young carers, a key next step to using this Step-by-step Guide is carrying out a baseline review. By reviewing your school’s current provision for young carers, you will identify strengths, weaknesses and priorities, and agree actions to be taken forward.

This review could be coordinated by a member of the school’s senior leadership team (SLT) or delegated to another member of staff. This may be, for example, your school’s Inclusion Coordinator, Pastoral Lead, SENCO, a Learning Mentor or another member of staff with specific interest in
this work.

The staff member leading the review (Review Lead) may need to seek involvement of other staff to ascertain current practice. They should report key findings to the SLT and governing body, making recommendations for any required changes in whole school practice, and identifying resulting resource requirements that need to be approved at SLT and/or governing body level.

Step 2, Tool 1: Baseline review aims to support schools by:

  • Setting out the key actions that schools should ensure are completed to meet the needs of pupils with caring responsibilities.
  • Categorising these actions into the basics, building on the basics and best practice so that you can prioritise what to do next.
  • Providing space for the Review Lead to record whether each action is completed, in progress, or not started, as well as what the school intends to do next.
  • Giving suggestions about which members of school staff may be best placed to carry out each action.
  • Signposting to other tools accompanying this Step-by-step Guide that will support schools to complete each action.

The Review Lead may also wish to use Step 2, Tool 2: A template proforma for making recommendations to school leaders.

Carrying out a baseline review and ensuring there are opportunities for the views of young carers to be heard will place schools in a good position to achieve the Bronze level of the Young Carers in Schools Award.

To understand how well your provision meets the needs of the young carers in your school, the Lead should also run a drop-in session or survey or set up a young carers forum to gather their views (see Step 2, Tool 3: How to gather young carers’ views about your school’s provision).

In particular, the Review Lead will find it useful to ask:

  • Do you feel you get the information and support you need from school as a young carer?
  • What is the school doing well to raise awareness in the school about young carers?
  • What would you like the school to do to raise awareness in a better way?
  • What is the school doing well to support young carers?
  • What would you like the school to do to support young carers better?
  • Any other comments.

Using young carers’ views to inform your school’s review is vital to ensuring the school meets the needs of this vulnerable pupil group effectively. It will also demonstrate that school staff value young carers’ opinions, and support you to create a whole-school ethos where young carers feel respected and safe and confident to access support.

Don’t forget to look out for this symbol throughout the Step-by-step Guide to find out how you can use the tools provided to meet the criteria in the Young Carers in Schools Award.
Implementing these additional actions will help schools achieve the Gold level of the Young Carers in Schools Award.