The Young Carers in Schools programme offers schools step-
by-step guidance, practical tools and training opportunities
to support pupils and students who have caring
responsibilities. Schools can be awarded a bronze, silver or
gold award to recognise their direct work with young carers.
Led by Carers Trust and The Children’s Society's Young
Carers in Focus partnership, and funded by The Queen’s Trust
and Big Lottery Fund, the programme has been developed with
teachers and school staff to make it as easy as possible for
schools to support young carers and reward good practice.
Young carers are responsible for emotional, practical or
physical care for a parent, sibling or other family member
who has a physical disability, mental health issue or
substance misuse problems.
The 2011 Census statistics revealed that there just over
166,000 young carers in England, but research reveals that
this is just the tip of the iceberg. The true figure could
be closer to 700,000 young carers in England, equivalent to
one in 12 school children many of whom are unrecognised and
The latest research carried out by Carers Trust and The
Children's Society shows that, on average, young carers miss
or cut short 48 school days a year. They often have lower
levels of self-confidence, mental wellbeing and
significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level.
Ofsted's School Inspection Handbook describes young carers
as a particularly vulnerable group of pupils that schools
should support. While some schools are doing this really
well, others struggle and this causes real problems for
Matthew, 17, a young carer from Sheffield, points out the
desperate need for the new Standard: “I’d like the
educational system to be more supportive of young carers.
Once, I tried to ring my mum and the teacher took my phone…
they don’t get it.”
To help schools help young carers, the programme offers
practical tools designed to make it as easy as possible for
schools. Staff can also receive training and taking part in
peer-to-peer learning through expert regional networks –
bringing together schools, young carers services, and health
and social care professionals. There will also be a
newsletter each term highlighting relevant policy
developments, spotlighting good practice and giving updates
on the programme’s successes.
The programme is open to all schools in England and to sign
up, schools just need to register at
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