Young Carers Accreditation
Supporting all our pupils
This month, May 2020, we were delighted to learn that Cirencester Deer Park School has been awarded Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) Young Carers Accreditation. This is a tremendous achievement.
Young Carers are defined as children and young people under the age of 18 who take on caring responsibilities normally associated with an adult. This tends to happen if a child's parent or adult carer is seriously ill, disabled, has mental health problems or misuses drugs or alcohol, but many Young Carers care for a sibling.
It is estimated that 1 in 12 children in secondary school have caring responsibilities (Carers Trust, 2013). However, it is not always easy to identify Young Carers as there is often secrecy around who is caring for a family relative. Schools need to be aware of the sensitivities associated with identifying a young person with a caring role and need to understand how best to support them.
Whilst many Young Carers are more empathetic and thoughtful than other young people of their age, the responsibilities of caring for someone else can be stressful, worrying and isolating. For Young Carers this can have a negative impact on their education, but schools can play a key role in improving their outcomes by helping to improve their health and wellbeing.
It goes without saying that schools want the best for their pupils and supporting Young Carers can also improve the school's performance through improved attendance, behaviour, contribution and attainment.
Gloucestershire Young Carers has worked in partnership with Gloucestershire Healthy Living and Learning (GHLL) to develop this accreditation. The award recognises schools in the county that are achieving best practice in their work with Young Carers. We work hard to ensure that Young Carers at Deer Park are able to thrive and achieve. For a school to gain accreditation is a clear demonstration to Young Carers and their families that they can be assured of appropriate support.
Young Carers at Deer Park:
- 100% know who their young carers lead is
- 100% feel their caring role is understood
- 74% feel the school always listens
- 95% say they always get the support they need.
Pupils in Year 10: "Very good to hear the news. I've had amazing support during the 4 years I have been at Deer Park."
Year 8 pupil: “The Pastoral Office door is always open for me. I feel secure and always supported at school. I can discreetly leave class for some ‘quiet’ time if I ever I feel overwhelmed due to the enormity of my family’s situation.”
Pupil in Year 7: "I think it's brilliant that my school has got an award for the support that they give pupils at Deer Park School. My mum is disabled and I find school very supportive."
Parent of a Young Carer in Year 7: "The help that we have been given has been so good, especially communicating with staff so that A was given extra time to complete homework and no one blamed A if work was late."
Year 8 Parent: “Our son was given the support and understanding that he needed and the Pastoral team are quietly right by his side and ours as a family. No amount of thanks will ever be big enough from us. Our situation is managed in a discreet and compassionate way which has helped our son enormously to maintain as normal a school day as possible.”
I am very grateful to Mrs Hannis and our other years leaders for the quality of care they provide for all of our young people. Their knowledge of the personal challenges many of our pupils face helps our teachers understand their individual contexts, plan accordingly and provide the support that will help them to thrive in school.’
Chiquita Henson, Headteacher