Young Carers in Schools Wales
Welcome to Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff, Wales edition.This resource has been written in association with teachers and school staff to help make the identification and support of young carers in schools as easy as possible.
It forms part of the Young Carers in Schools programme, a free England and Wales wide initiative making it as easy as possible for schools to support young carers and awarding good practice.
Together with the programme's free tools and resources, the Step-by-step Guide will help schools achieve National Young Carer recognition.
Who is the Step-by-step Guide for?
The Step-by-step Guide is for use in secondary and primary schools in Wales but could be easily adapted for use in the rest of the UK.
Schools are well situated to support young carers and, working in partnership with other agencies, to impact positively on their lives and their education. This toolkit provides an invaluable resource to help identify and support young carers in schools across Wales, and I urge schools to take advantage of it.
Cabinet Secretary for Education, Welsh Government
What does the Step-by-step Guide offer your school?
Many schools are delivering exceptional practice, making a real and positive difference to the young carers they support. Other schools have told us they want to achieve these excellent outcomes, but don't know where to begin. This Step-by-step Guide sets out ten key steps to implementing effective identification and support for young carers in schools.
Like other aspects of school life, the development of effective support for young carers is reliant on regular reviews of current provision and the identification of areas for continual improvement. The steps are therefore a cyclical process, which schools should engage with throughout the school year.
Why take part?
The Young Carers in Schools programme enables schools to:
- Gain national recognition for raising outcomes for young carers through the Young Carers in Schools Wales programme.
- Demonstrate to Estyn that your school is meeting the needs of young carers, specifically mentioned in the Inspection Guidance, 2016.
- Identify manageable steps to improve educational outcomes for this vulnerable pupil group – the programme breaks down the actions schools can take so that your school can prioritise what to do next.
What schools have told us about the impact of the prgramme
The outcomes from implementing the Young Carers in Schools programme in England have shown some impressive results not least in increasing young carers confidence, wellbeing, achievement and attainment. Pilot schools in Wales so far have seen a significant increase in the number of young carers identified since being the programme.
Making it as easy as possible for schools to support young carers
The Step-by-step Guide has been developed with teachers and school staff who understand the pressures that schools face to deliver the very wide range of demands placed upon them. As a result it is designed to be as flexible and helpful as possible.
Each step is accompanied by key information and practical tools, which schools can use and adapt to suit their school structure and local circumstances. All accompanying tools will be uploaded in the coming weeks but schools can make a start by completing the baseline review
Not all schools will need to use all the tools included. Some may find it more helpful to choose those that will help enhance the support they already offer to young carers and their families while others will want to simply start and build their activities over a number of years.
How can your school get involved?
- Download the Step by Step guide (below) and have a take a look at the accompanying tools (related content below)
- Complete a baseline reviewadolygiad o'r man cychwyn (Step 2, Tool 1) of your schools current provision for young carers to indentify strengths, weaknesses and priorities.
- Agree actions to be taken forward with your Senior Leadership Team.
- Contact your local authority, health board and young carers service to share your findings and see how they can support the programme.
- Complete a pledge on the interactive Schools Map – either in support of the Young Carers in School programme or as part of your own young carers work.
- You can blog, help raise awareness through Young Carers Awareness Day and encourage other schools to take part in the programme through your Cluster leads.
- Send us your contact details so we can help promote your work.
Identifying early means an improvement in achievement, attainment and wellbeing, if the right support is offered.
Since July 2016 Carers Trust Wales has been working with 8 pilot schools from across Wales to refine and adapt the young carers in schools programme. The outcome of this pilot has seen huge investment of time and commitment resulting in some very clear wins for not only the schools but young carers themselves. By working together with Estyn and Welsh Government we hope to further raise the profile of young carers within the education system to ensure their voices are heard.
Unlike England, the Young Carers in Schools programme in Wales is not an award scheme. The reasons for this are clear: Carers Trust Wales believes schools and young carers themselves are best placed to assess standards and challenge practice. Therefore, we are working to develop a National Framework to support peer reviews, offering local focus, encouraging reflective practice and supporting continuous development. Pilot models are already underway in South Wales led by Carers Trust South East Wales and EAS Consortia. We believe, together is the best way to encourage and support schools to achieve better and more sustainable outcomes for young carers. An update on the Peer Review Framework will be available later this year.
Got a question about the Young Carers in Schools Wales programme?
Email: Gill Winter, Carers Partnership Manager, Carers Trust Wales.