If left unsupported, excessive or inappropriate caring roles can seriously affect a child’s future wellbeing, educational achievement and aspirations. Young carers are often caring for relatives without their teachers’ knowledge. Schools are vitally important to ensuring that young carers are identified early and gain access to appropriate support.
Here are some examples of how schools and young carers’ services are identifying and supporting young carers.
The project supports schools to identify a Young Carers Lead, introduce a young carers' policy and develop support for young carers.
- A structured course to identify and support young carers affected by the stresses and challenges of caring
The self exploration groups for young carers in secondary school facilitate pupils who are young carers to support each other and access appropriate outside support. The groups form part of a structured approach to identify and raise awareness of young carers in schools.
- Collection of data on the attainment and school attendanceof pupils with caring responsibilities (young carers)
The initiative collected data on the attainment and school attendance of young carers. This analysis formed part of a wider mapping of young carers by the local authority, carried out in order to better understand the needs of young carers in Oxfordshire.
The Award Scheme assesses schools and colleges against a set standards for support provided to pupils/students who are young carers. The standards, developed in consultation with young carers, aim to ensure that young carers are identified, their needs are individually addressed, relevant provision is put in place and the impact evaluated.
The Schools and Support Coordinator runs staff training, school assemblies, ‘exploration’ groups, drop-in groups and other activities to identify and support young carers in secondary schools across Winchester.
A mentoring scheme for young carers to raise their awareness of higher education opportunities and aspirations of moving into higher education.
Compass is a sustained contact programme for young carers in Year 10 and Year 11 with the aim of raising educational aspiration and attainment.
Through a range of engaging activities, participants build their confidence, recognise their skills and increase their familiarity with the culture of higher education, in addition to enjoying new experiences outside of the normal routine of their caring roles.