A young carer is a young person who is helping to look after someone at home. Most are caring for a parent, but some may be taking responsibility for a sibling, grandparent or other relative. In some instances, a young carer may care for more than one family member. There are an estimated 700,000 young carers in the UK. The average age of a carer is just 12 years old, 8% of secondary pupils are carers, and a third of young carers are giving 11 to 20 hours of care each week. Young carers are performing all sorts of tasks around the home, and particularly, offering their parents emotional support.
At Chertsey High School we recognise that young carers many need extra support to ensure they feel supported and have equal access to education. This may take the form of talking with a mentor to discuss the barriers they may encounter on a day-to-day basis to meeting as a group twice a term to chat and talk about their experiences as a young carer. To ensure we offer the very best support we can, Chertsey High School is working towards the Surrey Young Carers Angel Award which has been developed by young carers, to reduce the barriers to their learning and achievement. These barriers can appear while a pupil is in infant school, and can persist into adulthood, restricting opportunities for further and higher education, and employment. The Angel Award aims to encourage and recognise all the great work that schools do in identifying and supporting their young carers.
Schools achieving the Angel Award will be recognised by pupils, families and professionals as a young carer friendly environment. This creates a culture of acceptance, understanding and support for its vulnerable pupils.
To achieve the Award, the schools have to meet eight standards, checked by our staff and young carers, including having a carers’ champion, a carers support group, training for staff, and assemblies about young carers to help all pupils understand the issues the young carers face, as well as support pupils to self-identify and find the help they need.
Young carers may identify themselves or may be identified by their families or staff at any point, on entry in year 7 or later in their school life. Confidentiality will be respected and attendance at any meeting or event is optional at all times.
Please contact Mrs Davis for any further information.