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Supporting young carers in schools

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Bullied for caring

New research shows a quarter of young carers at school are bullied because of their caring role.

New research by Carers Trust and the University of Nottingham has found that a quarter of young adult carers surveyed have been bullied at school, specifically because of their caring role.

This research is part of a wider study of young and young adult carers aged 14-25, and was undertaken as part of Carers Trust’s ‘About Time’ programme, funded by The Co-operative Group, who made Carers Trust their charity of the year for 2013.

The research also found that nearly half of respondents (42%) did not have a staff member to confide in at school. The most common reason the young carers gave for not telling a staff member about their caring role was that they felt there was ‘no point’ in doing so.

Having a young carers lead in school, and policies and procedures in place to identify and support young carers and their families, can significantly improve the confidence, achievement and attainment of young carers.

Download the executive summary report here.

Download the full report here.

Launched: A new resource for supporting young carers in schools

Young carers often go unnoticed in their communities and yet the effects of caring can be staggering. Over a quarter of young carers miss school or experience educational difficulties often leading to poor academic attainment and limited career opportunities.

Young carers aged 16-18 years old are more than twice as likely as their peers to be out of school, employment or training.

Schools are ideally positioned to identify young carers and initiate support for them and their families. It is vital that schools are doing this well. Carers Trust has therefore developed this new free resource to help schools embed a clear framework of support:

Supporting Young Carers in Schools: An Introduction for Primary and Secondary School Staff (223 KB)

Launched: New briefings on the Pupil Premium and young carers

Feedback from young carers and the services that support them indicates a vast inconsistency in the availability of support in schools. Existing mechanisms such as the Pupil Premium can be targeted to support young carers who are four times more likely than their non-caring peers to live in households where no adult works.

Carers Trust has therefore developed two new briefings showing how targeted use of the Pupil Premium can support pupils with caring responsibilities.

Targeting the Pupil Premium to support young carers in primary schools (740 KB)

Targeting the Pupil Premium to support young carers in secondary schools (739 KB)

The new resource and briefings will complement our existing resources below.

Supporting young carers: A resource for schools

The(former)Princess Royal Trust for Carers, in partnership with The Children’s Society, has produced Supporting young carers: a resource for schools. It helps schools develop a deeper understanding of the issues faced by young carers, in order to support this vulnerable group of pupils more effectively and ensure they achieve their full potential.

This free resource is split into five sections and then into chapters. It will guide your school through the steps needed to support young carers; from developing understanding and identifying young carers, to strategic and practical support and building a healthy school environment where young carers can flourish.

• Each chapter bullets how it supports schools. These can form a school’s action plan.
• Chapters are highlighted for particular members of staff, although collaborative work amongst all staff is most effective
• Although designed to be used independently by schools, implementation of the resource can be supported by a local young carers’ service.

Please note that key tools are found within chapters:
4.1 Barriers to learning and possible solutions
12.1 School policy checklist
33.1 Lesson and assembly planning
33.2 Young carers’ stories
33.3 Building your library
33.4 Sample role-play for an assembly, drama, PSHE or SEAL lesson
33.5 Young carers give top tips for their peers
34.1 How our school supports young carers: a template (a model text)
34.2 Information and contacts for young carers: a template
34.3 Information and contacts for parents: a template

Front Cover School Resource Pack (186 KB)
Introduction (70 KB)
Contents School Resource Pack (114 KB)

A. An Overview

An overview shows what it means to be a young carer and the impacts that caring can have on a young person. It also details the national legislation and guidance surrounding young carers.

1 Who Are Young Carers (109 KB)
2 Young Carers And Their Education (115 KB)
3 National Legislation And Guidance (134 KB)

B. Barriers to learning

This section explores the barriers to learning that young carers face and offers solutions for reducing these barriers. It explores key issues such as attendance, bullying, behaviour and transport.

4 Barriers To Learning Faced By Young Carers (181 KB)
5. Attendance (148 KB)
6. Behaviour (147 KB)
7. Bullying (138 KB)
8 Transport to and from school (154 KB)

C. A strategic approach

A strategic approach is aimed at school improvement partners, school governors, the senior management team, pastoral leads and those staff who have a specific lead for young carers and their families. It sets out the rationale for supporting this vulnerable group and includes case studies from schools who have been working in partnership with young carers’ services and short stories from young carers themselves. A strategic approach will help your school in setting the strategic direction for supporting young carers and highlights the need for policy, training and awareness and the role of a named staff member with lead responsibility for young carers.

9. A model for setting up a framework of support (184 KB)
10. How can school governors help? (163 KB)
11. School leadership teams (204 KB)
12 Developing A School Policy For Young Carers And Their Families (138 KB)
13 Developing A School Lead for young carers and their families (201 KB)
14 Staff Training And Awareness (129 KB)
15. Who else can help (169 KB)

D. Supporting young carers in your school

This section looks at the needs of different groups of young carers and the importance of early intervention and identification. It details the ‘journey of support’ from identification, assessment and safeguarding through to support with transition at the end of secondary school and on into further education.

It explores what support can be put in place using personalised approaches, partnership working and the need to ‘think family’ when supporting young carers.

16. Working with young carers: a model (167 KB)
17. Early intervention and preventative work (163 KB)
18. Identification of young carers (178 KB)
19. Pupils with parents affected by substance misuse (176 KB)
20. Pupils with parents with mental ill-health (176 KB)
21. Pupils caring for someone with a learning disability (153 KB)
22. Pupils caring for a sibling (153 KB)
23. Pupils from migrant families (173 KB)
24. Assessment and monitoring (197 KB)
25. Safeguarding (170 KB)
26. Supporting learning: A personalised approach to education and support (178 KB)
27. Crises and emergency plans (157 KB)
28. Support for the whole family: signposting, referrals and partnership work (175 KB)
29 Access Support And Involving Parents With Disabilities (130 KB)
30. Working in partnership with young carers’ services (181 KB)
31. Transition from primary to secondary school (153 KB)
32. Higher and further education (169 KB)

E. Building a healthy school environment

This section aims to help schools build an environment where young carers and their families feel safe, accepted and understood. It offers information and resources for schools to use in order to promote understanding about young carers’ issues and ensure that pupils and families have the information they need to seek support. It includes ideas for lessons and assemblies, case studies from young carers and model texts for schools to adapt and use.

33 Raising Awareness Amongst All Pupils (208 KB)
34 Information for young carers and parents (191 KB)
Further Reading - Schools pack (135 KB)
Acknowledgements (105 KB)

Here, you can also download posters for the schools resource pack:
School poster for pupils (163 KB)
School poster for staff (182 KB)

Schools’ Resource Survey Results 2010
Final Survey Results 2010 (42 KB)

Please email info@carers.org to let us know about:
• anything that is missing that you would find useful
• any further good practice or resources
• any updates needed or broken links
• any other feedback