Supporting Young Carers in Schools
Securing Commitment of School Leaders
Resource title: Supporting young Carers in School
Published: 2022 Author: Carers Trust
Effective identification and support of young carers in schools requires the development of a whole school approach where young carers and their families feel safe and confident to access support. It is therefore vital that your senior leadership team (SLT) and governing body understand young carers’ issues and are committed to meeting their needs.
This step is crucial not only to the development of provision that meets young carers’ needs but also to ensuring that the SLT and governing body have the information and resources they need to fulfil their wider roles.
The SLT and governing body are accountable for ensuring the school provides a highly cohesive learning environment which fosters equal opportunities and meets the diverse needs of the pupils at the school.
To fulfil this role effectively, the SLT and governing body should be aware that many pupils attending their school will have caring responsibilities.
It is crucial that the development and implementation of the school’s provision for young carers is led at an SLT and governing body level so that:
You will also need to ensure that the SLT and governing body are familiar with the information about young carers issues contained in Step 1: Gaining an understanding about young carers.
The SLT may also want to look at Step 4: Introducing a Young Carers School Operational Lead. Step 4 provides further information about designating a member of staff who is responsible for the day-to-day management of the school’s provision for young carers and their families. Depending on its size and organisational structure, the school may want to incorporate this role at senior leadership level.
Research finds that child poverty rates were higher amongst young carers than other children (Vizard, Obolenskaya & Burchardt, 2019). This highlights the significant number of young carers eligible for free school meals who would benefit from targeted support funded through the Pupil Premium.
Head teachers and school governing bodies are required to publish details online each year of how they are using the Pupil Premium and the impact it is having on pupil achievement. It will be important for them to show how the school is using this funding to meet the needs of eligible young carers.
University of Nottingham & BBC News (2018) New Research Suggests More Than One in Five Children in England Carry Out Some Care For Sick and Disabled Family Member. Available at: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/news/pressreleases/2018/september/children-england-care-sick-family.aspx
Vizard, P., Obolenskaya, P. & Burchardt, T. (2019). Child Poverty Amongst Young Carers in the UK: Prevalence and Trends in the Wake of the Financial Crisis, Economic Downturn and Onset of Austerity. Child Indicators Research, 12. pp 1831–1854.