Young carers in schools, colleges and universities
Life at school or college provides challenges for all young people, but for those with a caring role at home there are often additional difficulties with their education. Commonly there are issues with attendance, concentration, behaviour, achievement and home-school communication.
Teachers, lecturers and other education professionals can help by identifying, supporting and referring young carers.
On average, there are at least two young carers in every class. They often face challenges because of their caring role, meaning they can fall behind with work, suffer bullying and fail to meet their potential.
In addition to our direct support for young carers, Action for Carers has a team of Education Advisors across Surrey. Their role is to work with schools to help them identify and support young carers, so they can achieve the best possible outcomes.
As a teacher our Education Advisors can help you by:
- delivering assemblies
- providing PSHE materials for primary and secondary, such as our People Like Us film and learning resource
- giving information and advice on the identification and support of young carers
- assisting with establishing in-school support
- liaising with Home School Link Workers and SENCOs
- setting up clubs for young carers
- giving consultations and briefings in INSET days and staff meetings
- providing 1-1 sessions on caring related issues
- assisting the school to work towards the Angel Award
Materials and tools
We have a range of free resources for children to learn about young carers, and run an award scheme The Angel Award, for schools which demonstrates that they are ‘young-carer friendly’.
A key learning resource is our People Like Us film and learning tool.
We also have a draft young carer policy for schools which you can adapt for your school.
In colleges and universities
Colleges will have many young people juggling the dual roles of student and carer. Many carers don’t confide in their tutors about their caring role for fear of discrimination or of being viewed as different.
Young adult carers
Our Young Adult Carer team work to support young adult carers (aged 18-24), including in their education. We can support them with advice, information and advocacy; and also offer free meet-ups, meals and trips. If you know a young adult carer, please let them know about our support – or refer them to us.
We are shortly launching a new educational pack for use in colleges. ‘Support Young Adult Carers’ is an off-the-shelf pack, designed to allow you to deliver an hour’s tutorial. A lesson plan sets out objectives, with topics including ‘what is a carer’, ‘how lives are affected’ and ‘what support is available’. Please email the young adult carers team at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Fundraising in schools and colleges
You might be interested in fundraising for us, to support Surrey’s carers. Find out more about how schools and colleges can support us.