Young Carers in Schools Award
We are incredibly excited and proud as Grace Academy Solihull has been given a Bronze Award for their work in making 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 and is run by The Children’s Society and the Carers Trust.
Darren Gelder, Executive Principal of the Academy commented that “this is an outstanding achievement that recognises the hard work and dedication of a team that supports and recognises the wider needs of our students and their parents/carers.”
A parent of a young carer also commented that their “son is now in year 8, but when he was in year 7 he was having a lot of problems in school. The school has supported him loads, including offering a reduced timetable and offering other advice and guidance in relation to him being a young carer, which has helped a lot. Also the academy’s family support worker, Mrs Bromley, regularly meets and supports us as parents, which makes us feel reassured. She is always available to speak with and listens to our son and how he is feeling”.
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.
The Young Carers in Schools programme states that “to achieve their Bronze Award, Grace Academy Solihull 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 on notice boards, and the school webpage lets students and their families know where to go for help”.
The Children’s Society is a national charity that runs local services, helping children and young people when they are at their most vulnerable, and have nowhere left to turn. While Carers Trust is the UK’s largest charity providing services to unpaid carers, young carers and young adult carers.