Schools receive Young Carer awards
The council’s Young Carers Standard scheme helps schools identify and provide extra support for pupils responsible for the care of family members at home.
Since its launch in 2013 more than 30 schools have received training and support to raise awareness of issues affecting young carers in school and provide targeted support to help them achieve their potential.
Gold Award ‘inspectors’
A number of schools have now achieved ‘Gold’ awards following inspections by young carers themselves. A team of pupils visited the schools to interview staff and other young carers to find out what measures and working practices had been put in place.
The successful schools received their awards alongside ‘Silver’ and Bronze’ award-winners at a ceremony at County Hall yesterday (8 July).
The Young Carers Standard
Under the scheme, which is delivered in partnership with Spurgeons Young Carers Service, school staff receive training and put measures in place such as:
- Allocating a Young Carers ‘Lead’ within staff
- Providing practical support to improve young carers’ attainment
- Raising awareness of young carers through school assemblies
- Providing emotional support and counselling
- Encouraging children to discuss issues
- Monitoring the progress of young carers through school, as a vulnerable group
The council's Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “We tend not to think of children as carers, but this is the reality for many children of school age who for various reasons find themselves responsible for the care of a family member at home.
"The day-to-day commitments of fulfilling such a role mean there is inevitably less time for homework or extra-curricular activities. There could also be issues with school attendance linked to caring commitments, or there may be times during the school day when a young carer needs to contact someone at home.
“The Young Carers Standard is about schools putting measures in place to identify these issues and provide the extra support that children in this situation may need to fulfil their potential.”
She added: “Understandably, children don’t always identify themselves as young carers or realise there is help available, so if schools are in a position to make these connections swiftly it can make a huge difference.”
The following schools have secured Young Carers Standard accreditations:
Didcot Girls School
Lord Williams School
Fir Tree Junior School
Windmill Primary School
Wheatley Park School
Tower Hill Community Primary
Carterton Community College