2. Tools to support services to raise the local profile of Young Carers in Schools
This step, taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Toolkit for Young Carers Services, provides key information for young carers services who want to raise the local profile of the Young Carers in Schools programme.
Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Toolkit for Young Carers Services
This toolkit provides essential support to enable young carers services in England to significantly increase the identification and support of young carers in schools, and to secure vital new or continuation funding for local school engagement work.
This toolkit provides essential tools, templates and guidance for:
Services that already work closely with schools – enabling you to strengthen relationships with school staff, respond to the latest changes in the school system, and showcase achievements at an England-wide level.
Services that are developing their local school engagement activities – making the development and delivery of effective local school engagement work easier than ever so that you can maximise impact in your local area.
Services that do not currently have the capacity to engage directly with school staff – making securing funding as easy as possible and enabling you to implement simple, time-minimal actions to signpost schools to England-wide support in the meantime.
How the toolkit can help
The toolkit explores the role of the Young Carers in Schools programme, an exciting initiative in England and Wales that makes it as easy as possible for schools to identify and support young carers, and awards good practice. It:
Highlights the multiple benefits that Young Carers in Schools can bring to all services, including those with exisitng, successful school engagement programmes.
Sets out the concept of the whole school approach to identifying and support young carers as promoted by Young Cares in Schools, and explains the rationale for this approach as the main aim of local school engagement work.
Offers in-depth targeted advice on how services can secure funding for local school engagement work, engage school staff, maintain momentum and gather and showcase impact data.
Provides a range of tools, templates and pro formas to make using Young Carers in Schools as easy as possible so that you can maximise the identification and support of young carers in you local area.
To download specific tools that accompany this toolkit, please follow the links below:
Designed with teachers and schools staff, the Young Carers in Schools Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff, helps make the identification and support of young carers in schools in primary and secondary schools in Wales as easy as possible. Set out in ten clear steps, the tools accompanying the guide are available for you to download and adapt to suit your school and purpose. Each step contains a range of tools including templates, proformas and exemplars.
Not all schools will need to use all the tools included here. Some may find it more helpful to choose those that help enhance the support they already offer to young carers and their families while others will want to simply start to build their activities over a number of years. See related links for the Welsh versions.
Step 1 - Gaining an understanding about young carers
Key infomation only. See Step by Step Guide
Step 2 - Reviewing your school's provision for young carers
Toolkit for Initial Teacher Education (ITE) Providers
This toolkit provides essential tools, templates and guidance for ITE providers who already include young carers as a key topic within their training programmes and ITE providers who are developing their training content regarding young carers.
Raising schools’ awareness of young carers’ rights under the Care Act 2014 and the Children and Families Act 2014.
Tools for local authorities and young carers services:
Reflecting the differing capacities of young carers services and local authorities, a range of tools are available to make it as easy as possible for you to raise school awareness of the programme locally, including:
This step, taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff, aims to help schools share good practice in identifying and supporting young carers.
It is vital that schools that have adopted Steps 1 to 9 of this Step-by-step Guide, share their good practice and lessons learnt with feeder and linked schools including others in their school cluster or multi academy trust.
By doing so they will ensure positive outcomes are delivered for young carers attending other schools. They will also make it more likely that the caring role of pupils enrolling or transferring to their school is identified by others prior to the pupil’s transition. This will make it easier for schools to implement support and early intervention.
Identifying a young carer early can stop them taking on caring roles which are excessive or inappropriate. Make sure no child or young person’s education, wellbeing and potential is affected by their caring role, by sharing your good practice today.
Schools should seek opportunities to share effective practice by:
Disseminating learning with feeder and linked schools, including others in their school cluster or multi-academy trust through transition planning, joint training, mail outs and other information forums
Participating in the regional networks organised by the Young Carers in Schools programme. The regional networks bring together schools, young carers services and other agencies to share expertise and access training. Opportunities are available online and face-to-face to make sure everyone can get the most out of these networks
The development of effective support for young carers in schools is a reiterative process of continual improvement. Schools should review their provision at least annually. Reviews should be timetabled at appropriate points within the school calendar so that they:
Inform the school’s processes for planning and reviewing its use of Pupil Premium funding.
Ensure that where appropriate young carers are considered as part of the whole school development plan.
Step 9: Identifying, Assessing and Supporting Young Carers and their Families
This step, taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff, sets out the key actions that schools should follow when they identify a pupil who is, or may be, a young carer.
Step 8: Raising Awareness of Pupils and Families About Young Carers
This step, taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff, supports schools to raise the awareness of pupils and families about young carers.
I really enjoy learning about young carers and their life and would like to learn a lot more just in case it ever happens to me.
To counteract the reasons why many young carers are hidden schools will need to proactively raise the awareness of pupils and their families about:
What it means to be a young carer.
Disabilities, mental and physical ill-health, and alcohol and substance misuse issues with a focus on dispelling common stereotypes.
Raising awareness in these areas can help pupils and their families self-identify as a young carer and help remove the stigma associated with certain disabilities, illness and alcohol and substance misuse, thus helping to prevent bullying.
I used to help out in the classroom occasionally and this was seen as a positive experience for children who have never met a wheelchair user before. The school also invited other disabled speakers to talk to the children from time to time.
Tools available to support Young Carers’ School Operational Leads include:
Step 7: Raising Awareness of School Staff about Young Carers
This step, taken from Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff, supports schools to raise the awareness of their staff about this vulnerable pupil group.
To meet the needs of young carers in your school, it is vital that all school staff understand why young carers need support to enjoy and achieve at school, and the simple things they can do to raise the attendance, attainment and wellbeing of these pupils as part of their wider roles within the school.
Having the ability to ask yourself 'who is having a bad day?' and adjust your behaviour accordingly is one of the most important things teachers have. Teacher
Building staff understanding about young carer issues does not mean creating additional functionality within staff’s existing roles. Rather, by being aware of how to identify and support young carers, staff will be better equipped to fulfil their existing roles within the school, and schools will identify and support young carers more effectively.
Identifying a young carer early can stop them taking on caring roles which are excessive or inappropriate. No child or young person’s education, wellbeing and potential should be affected by their caring role.
What guidance is available to help raise the awareness of school staff about young carers?
Why it is important to raise the awareness of all staff members
The different ways in which awareness can be raised, including top tips for developing and maintaining effective young carer noticeboard material. As schools will be in different stages of their journey to implementing support for young carers, the ways to raise awareness are categorised into the basics, beyond the basics and best practice.