Congratulations to Helston Community College on achieving your Young Carers in Schools Silver Award!
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.
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 2021 Census statistics revealed that there are just over 120,000 young carers in England, but research reveals that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The true figure could be closer to 800,000 young carers in England, equivalent to one in 5 secondary aged 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 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.
“To achieve their Silver Award Helston Community College has demonstrated that it supports young carers in many ways, including awareness raising with pupils and staff, and by building links within the local community. Young carers are consulted with, and vital information is made available to pupils and families, letting them know where to go for help.”
The 5 standards towards the Silver award are:
- Understand - There are assigned staff members with responsibility for understanding and addressing young carers' needs.
- Inform - Pupil awareness is raised by sharing knowledge about disability, illness and young carers throughout the school.
- Identify - Young carers are being identified within your school
- Listen - Young carers are listened to, consulted with and given time and space to talk if they need to.
- Support - Young carers are supported within the school and signposted to other resources and services outside the school.