Who are young carers?

A young carer is a person under 18 who provides or intends to provide care for another person.  As many as one in 12 pupils in the UK could be a young carer.  These are often children caring for relatives without their teachers’ knowledge, slipping through the net, undetected by support services. The caring role they carry out means they have unique experiences and needs that can impact on their capacity to enjoy and achieve at school.

What are the potential impacts of caring on pupil attainment, achievement and wellbeing?

Young carers are a vulnerable and disadvantaged group specifically mentioned in Ofsted’s School Inspection Handbook (Ofsted, 2014).

27% of young carers (aged 11–15) miss school or experience educational difficulties
(40% where children care for a relative with drug or alcohol problems) (Dearden, C, Becker, S, 2004).

They have significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level – the difference between nine Bs and nine Cs (The Children’s Society, 2013).

They are more likely than the national average not to be in education, employment or training (NEET)  between 16 and 19 (The Children’s Society,   2013).

A quarter of young carers said they were bullied at school because of their caring role (Carers Trust, 2013).

The Young Carers in Schools programme is an exciting England-wide initiative that aims to make it as easy as possible for schools to support young carers and awards good practice. Run jointly by Carers Trust and The Children’s Society Young Carers in Focus partners – As a local Network Partner to Carers Trust we are utilizing the programme to help schools and structure our support. 

By taking part in the programme, schools have access to:

This Step-by-step Guide: making it as easy as possible to identify and support young carers.

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.