Young Carers in School Awards 2019

Young Carers in School Awards 2019

Maiden Erlegh School in Reading wins award for Young Carer support

Maiden Erlegh School in Reading has been given an award for their work to make sure students don’t miss out on an education because they are young carers.

The Young Carers in Schools programme helps primary and secondary schools improve outcomes for young carers and celebrates good practice through the Young Carers in Schools Award. They commented:

“To achieve their Bronze Award Maiden Erlegh School in Reading has demonstrated that it supports young carers in many ways, including homework clubs and drop-in sessions with a member of staff who is responsible for this vulnerable group of pupils.  Vital information about how to identify young carers is made available to all school staff, and noticeboards and the school webpage let students and their families know where to go for help”.

Mr Johnson, Headteacher said in response to receiving the award:

“As an inclusive school we strive to know and support all our students and understanding the lives they live in and outside of school. Young carers in our school face particular challenges and I am very proud of the way that our school acknowledges and supports them. This award is well deserved and is an acknowledgement of the tireless work of many of our staff in ensuring our school is a positive and supportive environment”.

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 issue. The 2011 Census statistics revealed that there are 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 unsupported.

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 and often have lower levels of self-confidence, mental wellbeing and significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level, because of their caring role. Ofsted's Common Inspection Framework states that inspectors will look at how well schools support young carers.  While some schools are doing this really well, others struggle and this causes real problems for young carers.

To help schools support young carers, the www.youngcarersinschools.com programme offers a step-by-step guide for leaders, teachers and non-teaching staff, with practical tools designed to make it as easy as possible for schools. Staff can also receive training through webinars and events and the programme also features a newsletter each term highlighting relevant policy developments, spotlighting good practice and giving updates on the programme’s successes.