Young carers miss out an average of 48 days of school a year. The BBC and Carers Trust have highlighted that there are approximately 1500 young carers in Buckinghamshire unidentified. Research has shown that young carers do not achieve as highly as their peers academically because of lower school attendance rates and ongoing anxiety that impacts on their ability to concentrate.
Young Carers Bucks endevours to reduce these statistics to ensure all young carers have the opportunity to reach their full potential, and are delighted to be able to offer schools in the Aylesbury Vale area the chance to work with the Young Carers in Schools Project. The project is focused on helping schools to identify and support young carers within their school setting. We have the capacity to work with and support the school. We have project workers who will be assigned to schools to deliver the training and support group with a flexible approach and time effective manner.
Ofsted have highlighted the needs of young carers as high priority and have looked favourably upon schools who work alongside charities and agencies to benefit pupils within schools.
There are two elements to the Young Carers in Schools Project and when the criteria in each element is met the school will be able to gain a Silver and/or Gold award. These awards are to celebrate the ongoing commitment to young carers.
The project criteria is as follows:
- To have held Young Carers Awareness Training within the staff team
- To have had Young Carers Awareness delivered to pupils at assemblies
- To have identified a Young Carers Champion (a named staff member for young carers to approach)
- To have drawn up a ‘working together document’ with us including a procedure for the lead to follow when referring a young carer
Gold Award (once received Silver Award)
- To deliver a half termly (or more frequent if required) Young Carers Support Group
- To liaise regularly with Project Workers to evaluate, gain support and advice, share ideas and resources and refer to main stream young carers when appropriate
The project has already been piloted locally and has been widely praised by the schools involved.
“We now have a more formalised provision for our young carers through the fantastic support given by Young Carers. We have been working hard in our school to develop our pastoral provision for children and working collaboratively with Young Carers Bucks has been an integral part of this. The initial sessions where Kim has worked with us have enabled our staff to be supported in delivering more sessions in future and enhancing the links between school and other outside agencies. Within the school there is now an increasing awareness from staff of the difficulties that these children face in everyday lives and we now have dedicated staff available to support young carers with their needs. It is invaluable for the children to know that the communication between school and Young Carers is ongoing and that people understand”. – William Harding School
For more information, please email Kim Bunce, our Young Carers in Schools Project Lead, or call 01296 392711.