Thaxted Primary School wins award for young carers support

PUBLISHED: 10:05 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:05 17 March 2020

Thaxted Primary School children celebrate the bronze award. Photo: Michelle Hughes.

Thaxted Primary School children celebrate the bronze award. Photo: Michelle Hughes.

Michelle Hughes, Thaxted Primary School

Thaxted Primary School has been given a bronze award for their work to ensure students are not prevented from getting 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.

Michelle Hughes, headteacher at the Thaxted Primary School, said: “We are really proud of the pastoral care we offer all of our children here at Thaxted Primary School and have worked hard to also ensure we offer Young Carers and their families the support they need and deserve.”

Young carers are responsible for emotional, practical or physical care for a parent, sibling or another family member who has a physical disability, mental health issue or substance misuse issue. The 2011 census revealed that there are just over 166,000 young carers in England, but a programme spokesperson says a “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.”

Research carried out by Carers Trust and The Children’s Society shows that, on average, young carers miss or cut short 48 school days a year and often have lower levels of self-confidence, poorer mental wellbeing and significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level, because of their caring role.

A spokeperson for the programme said: “To achieve their bronze award, Thaxted Primary School has demonstrated that it supports young carers in many ways, including homework clubs and drop-in sessions with a member of staff who is responsible for this vulnerable group of pupils.

“Vital information about how to identify young carers is made available to all school staff, and noticeboards and the school webpage let students and their families know where to go for help”.

The programme offers a step-by-step guide for leaders, teachers and non-teaching staff, and practical tools to make the process easier for schools. Staff can also receive training through webinars and events. A newsletter is available each term, highlighting relevant policy developments, spotlighting good practice and giving updates on the programme’s success.

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