West Hatch High School receives Young Carers in Schools Award
West Hatch High School has received a Bronze award for its work to make sure students do not 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.
Headteacher Daniel Leonard said, "This is a great achievement and has taken a lot of work but the biggest achievement is the recognition of our amazing students and the work they do under often very difficult circumstances. We are proud to support and represent our young carers and hope this award represents our commitment to them now and in the future."
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.
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.
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 bronze award, West Hatch High School 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."
Giles Meyer, chief executive of Carers Trust, said, "The Young Carers in Schools programme is helping to transform schools and support staff across England. Schools play a vital role in a young carer’s life as many care for relatives without their teachers even knowing what they do. 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.”
Helen Leadbitter, national young carers lead at The Children’s Society, said, "Hundreds of schools across England are participating in the Young Carers in Schools programme, using the tools and resources to improve their support systems, and ensuring that no child need miss out on educational opportunities because they are a carer. Seventy-four per cent of schools who have achieved a Young Carers in Schools Award have noticed improved attendance among their young carers, and 94 per cent have noticed improvements in their wellbeing and confidence.”