Practice

In its publication Supporting pupils who are young carers, The Children’s Society reports that carers may be late or absent from school because of their responsibilities. They may appear to be tired, disengaged, isolated from peers or under-achieving. Many report bullying. Many young carers keep their caring role a secret for fear of inappropriate intervention or because of the stigma surrounding some health conditions, addictions and disabilities.

They include:

  • Using the Citizenship and/or PSHE curriculum to promote both equality and diversity including disability. Encourage young people to discuss religious and ethnic identities as well as mutual respect; tolerance and understanding that will aid harmonious relationships.
  • Use Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning (SEAL). Although SEAL aims to develop the social and emotional skills of all children, it may be of particular benefit to young carers and refugee pupils. The small group element covers issues such as anger management, handling relationships, lack of confidence and bullying.
  • Use community notice boards. Young carers have expressed the need for notice boards in their school/community. The boards should display information; including support and resources in their community for young carers and their families & community projects in the local area.
  • Resources for schools including a notice board are available in the Education section of the Whole Family Pathway
  • Consider providing homework clubs, preferably during lunch periods, in case the young person needs to continue with caring tasks after school.
  • Ensure young carers are able to use a phone within the school day to ensure they have contact with home.
  • Respond to pupils’ diverse needs by taking into account their cultural, religious and linguistic backgrounds when planning, in order to ensure that all pupils feel secure and are able to take part in lessons fully and effectively.
  • Ensure staff are able to access adequate training and resources.
  • Ensure schools and colleges are accessible to parents who are disabled or have a long-term illness. Communication strategies include provision for any parent with a visual, hearing or communication impairment (as covered in the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 with regard to access to goods, services and facilities).
  • Make information accessible in other languages, eg letters home, reports relating to young carers attainment and progress.
  • It may be difficult for some parents to attend parents’ evenings or understand the concept, as the education system may be very different in the country of origin. Check for translation services or with ESOL tutors.
  • There may be support available locally for the provision of translation services or financial support, such as school transport and school uniforms. 

For more information and resources see:

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