We are one of just 15 schools across the country to win a national award from the Children’s Society because of our excellent support for young carers in schools.
Young carers are responsible for emotional, practical or physical care of a parent, sibling or other family member who has a physical disability, mental health or substance misuse problems. There are just over 166,000 identified young carers in England, but research suggests this is just the tip of the iceberg as many young carers or their families are embarrassed to seek help.
A young carer will often miss days of school, sometimes extended periods; will struggle with homework; will sometimes suffer extreme tiredness; in some cases become isolated from friends, especially out of school; and on average young carers have lower levels of self-confidence, mental wellbeing, and significantly lower educational attainment rates at GCSE level.
At Clyst Vale we have identified over forty young carers. We work closely with Devon Young Carers to provide opportunities for students and support for families. In school, Mrs Perram is the Young Carers coordinator, supporting students on an individual basis, coordinating group events, and monitoring their academic progress.
The Young Carers in Schools programme offers schools guidance and practical tools to recognise and support students who have caring responsibilities. Schools’ provision is then evaluated against a national standard leading to the Young Carers Award.