Wentworth Primary School wins award for young carers support

Friday 7th, February 2020

Wentworth Primary has been given a Bronze Award for their work on making sure pupils do not miss out on an education because they are young carers.

The Young Carers in Schools programme helps primary and secondary schools improve outcomes for young carers and celebrates good practice through the Young Carers in Schools Award.

Headteacher Mrs Dawn Dack said, “At Wentworth we are very proud of our young carers. We recognise the extra responsibility they have outside of school and try to ensure our curriculum offers these pupils a wide range of activities and experiences they may not be able to access.”

HG, age 11

"Young Carers Club has been a help because it's taken my mind off my brother, especially when he was really ill. It was good to spend time with other people who have the same sort of problems."

JH, age 10

"I like how everyone is really nice and supportive and I enjoy the knitting - it's really fun. I think Young Carers has been helpful because it takes my mind off all my worries at home."

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. The 2011 Census statistics revealed that there are just over 166,000 young carers in England, but research reveals that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The true figure could be closer to 700,000 young carers in England, equivalent to one in 12 school children many of whom are unrecognised and unsupported.

David Mirzai, Essex County Council’s Schools Development Coordinator stated, “In achieving their Bronze Award, Wentworth Primary School has demonstrated that it supports young carers in many ways, including homework clubs and drop-in sessions for this vulnerable group of pupils. Vital information about how to identify young carers is made available to all school staff and the school webpage lets pupils and their families know where to go for help”.

Giles Meyer, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, today congratulated Award-winning schools, saying: “The Young Carers in Schools programme is helping to transform schools and support staff across England. Schools play a vital role in a young carer’s life, as many care for relatives without their teachers even knowing what they do. On average young carers will miss a day of school each month as a result of their caring role, so the steps schools take to identify and support them can have a huge impact on their learning, wellbeing and life chances.”

Helen Leadbitter, national young carers lead at The Children’s Society, is delighted that the Young Carers in Schools Programme is bringing about national change.

“Hundreds of schools across England are participating in the Young Carers in Schools programme, using the tools and resources to improve their support systems, and ensuring that no child need miss out on educational opportunities because they are a carer. 74% of schools who have achieved a Young Carers in Schools Award have noticed improved attendance among their young carers, and 94% have noticed improvements in their wellbeing and confidence.”