What can schools & colleges do?
Our advisers regularly visit schools and as part of the Schools Award we encourage and provide resources to help schools to:
- Identify a member of staff responsible for young carers
- Draw up a policy to make sure that young carers are identified as a separate cohort
- Set up support groups in schools
- Provide resources for raising awareness of young carers in assemblies, PSHE lessons and on information boards
- Develop network groups to share best practice
Young carers do an AMAZING job and often feel very proud of the job they do – rightly so. It can help them build some valuable life skills and many are very resilient, caring and mature beyond their years.
However, there is a growing evidence-base, which suggests caring has a significant impact on many young people, especially on their physical and mental health, social interactions, educational outcomes and employment opportunities.
Many young carers struggle to juggle their education and caring role and find it difficult to concentrate at school.
- 1 in 20 miss school because of their caring role
- 60% are bullied at school and many feel socially isolated. Being bullied during the later years of primary school has a strong association with lower attainment in secondary school
- 1 in 12 young carers spend more than 15 hours a week caring for a parent or sibling – that is equivalent of 2 full working days
- On average, young adult carers achieve 9 GCSE grades lower than their peers (equivalent to 9 Cs versus 9 Bs)
- Young adult carers are twice as likely to be NEET (not in education, training or employment) than their peers
Suffolk Young Carers Schools Award is designed to help schools improve identification and support to young carers and award best practice.
Within Suffolk, many primary and secondary schools have already signed up to the Schools Award and this has proved to be of benefit to both the school and the young carers they support. In a recent OFSTED inspection at Sidegate Primary School, Ipswich the inspector said;
“The school’s work to promote pupils development and welfare is Outstanding. “The most vulnerable pupils, including young carers, are well known to all staff. The school has a culture of care and highly effective family liaison”
If you would like to talk to us about the School Award and how you can develop your schools support, please contact us or chat online with an adviser.