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Education without Compromise: Doing the right thing for young carers in school

As a student of both politics and history at school and university I remember being fascinated by coalition governments, the opportunities and challenges that faced them and hoped that a coalition government might happen in my lifetime.

Young carer helping his brother

We want a coalition government that takes a shared and joint responsibility for meeting young carers' needs


I hear a good friend reminding me: “Danni, be careful what you wish for”.

The optimist in me sees a political landscape filled with consensus-seeking, compromise and opportunity. The pessimist suspects a series of stalemates and dead ends and (at least) two sets of opinions, views (and egos!) that make change difficult to achieve.

I, like many others, wonder how it’s all going to pan out but more importantly what this will mean for carers and young carers throughout the UK.

One of our election asks was that there should be more support for young carers in school. We know that for many children and young people, being a carer has a detrimental impact on their education and experience of school life, and this is evidenced by the results of our recent survey of young carers aged 6-18.

700 young carers took part and the findings make grim reading:

  • Nearly half of the young carers who took part in the study said there was not a single teacher at their school who knew they were a young carer.
  • 60% said that they do not think their teacher would understand what life was like for them
  • 70% agreed with the statement that “being a young carer has made their life more difficult”
  • More than two thirds reported being bullied at school

What is The Trust doing about this? Firstly, in partnership with The Children’s Society (politicians take note: it can be done), The Trust has developed a new information pack ‘Supporting Young Carers: a resource for schools’ to help staff identify and support young carers more effectively, free to download from www.carers.org/professionals from May 2010.

Secondly, and crucially, the Trust will work quickly to get to grips with new ministerial teams, policies and personalities. Both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats have school reform on their agenda, and the Prime Minister spoke on Wednesday of “rebuilding family, rebuilding community, above all, rebuilding responsibility in our country”. The Trust will be asking the new administration to take a long, hard look at these statistics and use their powers to ensure that young carers are supported in their school and community, and that where there is illness or disability in a family, the whole family is supported. We want a coalition government that takes a shared and joint responsibility for meeting young carers’ needs, whoever they are and wherever they live.

Take care,

Danni

Danni Manzi, Policy and Development Manager for Young Carers (England and Wales) at The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, is guest blogger this week

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May 17, 2010 - Posted by | Education, Young carers | , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. Those stats do make grim reading. I do hope the new information packs help open peoples eyes.

    Comment by Casdok | May 17, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thank you for all that you are doing for our young carers!
    The schools resource pack is an amazing resource which I am promoting at every given opportunity to whoever will listen!
    As a carer for my husband, author of a book for young carers and a Mother to 2 young carers I have experienced first hand the ‘hit and miss’ situation within schools…some are really supportive towards carers but unfortunately so many still aren’t as supportive as they should be.
    Thank you once again for all that you are doing!
    We have set up an e petition to try and get more people behind the need to support young carers – especially in schools. We are hoping to get enough signatures to send it to No 10 eventually.
    http://www.petitionbuzz.com/petitions/youngcarersawareness

    Comment by Victoria Taylor | January 28, 2011 | Reply


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