Young Carers and School

Young Carers and School

Young carers are a vulnerable and disadvantaged group, who often experience difficulties in their education.

Key Points: 

  • Why do young carers need support from school?
  • Will there be young carers in all schools?
  • What support is available to schools?
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Date Revised: 
30/01/15

Young carer.

Why do young carers need support from school?  

Young carers are a vulnerable and disadvantaged group, who often experience difficulties in their education. Without support, they can struggle to attend school and make good progress and a quarter of young carers have said they are bullied because of their caring role

Identifying and supporting young carers is an effective way of improving the attainment and attendance of this pupil group; who are specifically mentioned in Ofsted’s evaluation inspection schedule and frequently eligible for free school meals and pupil premium funding.

Will there be young carers in all schools?

It is likely that there will be young carers at every school in England:

  • A survey by the BBC in 2010 estimated that about 1 in 12 secondary aged pupils have caring responsibilities.
  • The number of 5-7 year olds providing care increased by 83% between 2001 and 2011.
  • 39% of young carers have said that nobody in their school was aware of their caring role (Carers Trust, 2010).
"Schools have a key role in identifying and supporting all young carers.…. Ofsted take particular interest in the experiences of more vulnerable children, including young carers, during inspections."
Edward Timpson, the Minister for Children and Families, October 2012

What support is available to schools?

Young Carers in Schools is an exciting England-wide programme that equips schools to support young carers and awards effective practice.   Run jointly by Carers Trust and The Children’s Society Young Carers in Focus partners, Young Carers in Schools is funded by The Queen’s Trust and the Big Lottery Fund.

Through the programme you will have access to:

  • Supporting Young Carers in Schools: A Step-by-step Guide for Leaders, Teachers and Non-teaching Staff: making it as easy as possible for you to identify and support young carers, this resource helps you step-by-step and includes templates, tools and guidance.
  • Expert regional networks bringing together schools, young carer services, and health and social care professionals for peer-to-peer learning and training. Opportunities will be available online and face-to-face to make sure everyone can get the best from these networks.
  • Young Carers in Schools Award: enabling your school to gain recognition from several leading charities for effective practice.

The Step-by-step Guide and Young Carers in Schools Award criteria will be available from April 2015.

Get involved in the regional networks - register your interest.

Additional Resources

Supporting Young Carers in Schools: An Introduction for Primary and Secondary School Staff

supporting young carers in schools
An introductory resource helping schools to set up systems to identify and support pupils who are young carers.

Supporting Young Carers: A resource for schools

pupil premium - secondary school resource
An extended resource for schools.

Pupil Premium: Support for Young Carers - primary school resource and secondary school resource

pupil premium - primary school resource
Guidance showing how targeted use of the Pupil Premium can support pupils with caring responsibilities.