Knights Enham Junior School has become the first Junior School in Hampshire to receive the Care Trust Bronze award for their work to ensure students do not miss out on an education because they are a young carer. The Young Carers in Schools programme helps schools to improve outcomes for young carers and celebrates good practice through Young Carers in Schools Award.
“For some time now the school has been recognising its young carers and works closely with Andover Young Carers to offer support to those children and families. Naturally we were delighted when The Carers Trust approached the school to be the first junior school in Hampshire to pilot the scheme.” Hywel Inglis, Head of School and Young Carers Strategic Team Lead
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. We know that on average these young people miss or cut short 48 school days a year and often suffer from lower levels of self-confidence, mental wellbeing and significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level because of their caring role. In the last census statistics revealed that there are just over 166,000 known young carers in England however the true figure could be closer to 700,000, which is equivalent to one in 12 school children who may be unrecognised and unsupported.
“At Knights Enham we try to support our young carers in a variety of ways. We offer a ‘Drop-In’ service, ‘Letters to Pearl', enabling children to confidentially write about their feelings and concerns which are followed up by me in my role of Young Carers Operational Lead. We offer a regular, lunchtime club facilitated by Andover Young Carers. We have created a useful Young Carers page on our website with information for adults and young carers as well as displaying posters in school highlighting the in-school contacts and first point of call for young carers. We have even recently held a fundraising day ‘Silly Socks’ which raised the profile of young carers amongst staff and piers whilst raising money for Andover Young Carers.” Hywel Inglis.
The programme offers guidance and practical tools for leaders, teachers and non-teaching staff to help support young carers in schools. Staff can access to training and receive regular communications, newsletters and updates on relevant policy developments. For more information about the scheme please visit the Young Carers in Schools website.