Who Cares in Schools? Young Carers Awareness Day January 2020

Did you know that many school children take on huge caring responsibilities? Young carers are just kids, yet they care for someone at home who could not do without their help. The average age of a young carer is just 13 years old.

The Government classifies young carers as ‘children in need’ and rightly so. They are isolated and lonely and often suffer from depression and anxiety, as well as lack of confidence and low self-esteem.

National Young Carers Awareness Day is on 30 January and local charity, Carers Support Centre, is asking local schools to join their Young Carers in Schools programme.

Young carers struggle to keep up with their schoolwork, are often bullied at school, and have significantly lower educational attainment than other children. Carers Support Centre also found that 75% of young carers have been absent from school due to the physical and mental impact of their caring responsibilities.

Carers Support Centre helps schools with inset days and training for staff, governors and pupils. Schools can then set up support groups, homework clubs and drop in sessions for young carers. This gives pupils confidence that staff understand their home situation and means they get the support they need.

Young Carers in Schools is a national programme promoted by Children’s Society and Carers Trust, and hundreds of schools across England are part of it. And every one of them said they would recommend the programme to other schools.

38 primary and secondary schools in Bristol are signed up to the Young Carers in Schools programme so far. Now, with new funding from The Nisbet Trust, Carers Support Centre aims to work with more local schools.

Kama McKenzie, Young Carers Manager, at Carers Support Centre, said:
“On average young carers will miss a day of school each month as a result of their caring role, so the steps schools take to identify and support them can have a huge impact on their learning, wellbeing and life chances.”

You can help young carers by finding out if your local school is part of the Young Carers in Schools programme. If they are not, ask your school to get in touch with Carers Support Centre.

Carers Support Centre website: https://www.carerssupportcentre.org.uk