Here at Westmorland we are committed to supporting all of our children including our Young Carers.
Young Carers Policy
Westmorland Primary School (PRU or Service) is committed to enabling young carers to access education and support. This policy aims to ensure young carers at this school are identified and offered appropriate support to access the education and other services to which they are entitled.
Young carers are children and young people who provide care to another family member. The level of care they provide would usually be undertaken by an adult and as a result of this they take on a level of responsibility that is appropriate to their age and development. This is likely to have a significant impact on their childhood experiences.
The person they look after will have one or more of the following:
• Physical disability
• Sensory disability
• Learning disability
• Mental health problem
• Chronic illness
• Substance misuse problem
A young carer will take on additional responsibilities to those appropriate to their age and development. A young carer might be providing the main care or share responsibilities with another family member. The caring tasks that a young carer has to deal with can range from:
Nursing care giving medication, injections, changing dressings, assisting with mobility etc.
Personal intimate care washing, dressing, feeding and helping with toilet requirements.
Emotional care being compliant, monitoring the emotional state of the person cared for, listening, being a shoulder to cry on, supporting a parent through depression and trying to cheer them up. In cases where a young carer is supporting an adult with drug/alcohol misuse problem, they will often take a leading role in trying to keep that person safe.
SMBC – CYPD – Identifying and Supporting Young Carers – page 8
Domestic care doing a substantial amount of housework, cooking, shopping, cleaning, laundry etc.
Financial care running the household, bill paying, benefit collection etc.
Child care taking responsibility for younger siblings in addition to their other caring responsibilities.
Communicating on behalf of the adult or family with & Interpreting agencies/services and interpreting for a language or sensory impairment.
Possible effect on education:
Westmorland Primary School acknowledges that there are likely to be young carers among its pupils, and that being a young carer can have an adverse effect on a young person’s access to education and attainment.
Because of their responsibilities at home, a young carer might:
• Have erratic or poor school attendance
• Arrive late at school
• Decline in academic achievement
• Not complete homework
• Not attend out of school activities or school trips
• Lack motivation
• Have back problems, aches and pains patterns of being generally unwell
• Appear withdrawn, isolated from peers, have difficulties socialising
• Show, anxiety, depression, anger, self harming behaviour
• Have poor concentration (due to worrying about the person who is cared for)
• Have poor home/ school relationship
• Have parents who do not attend parents evening or lack of overall contact with school
• Have false signs of maturity, assuming an adult role in social situations or have difficulty enjoying childhood activities
It also might be difficult to engage their parents (due to fears about child being taken into care, fears about their condition being misunderstood or their parenting skills being called into question). School may need to make alternative arrangements for communication about attainment.
Westmorland Primary School acknowledges that young carers may need extra support to ensure they have equal access to education and opportunities offered through the life of a school. Through this policy, school is giving the message that young carers’ education and school experience is important.
The designated school lead for young carers is Martin Henderson, who will liaise with relevant colleagues, Stockport Young Carers and other relevant agencies with the consent of the young carer. All pupils will be made aware of the designated link.
Westmorland Primary School will ensure that appropriate information is shared with school staff in order that there is an awareness of the young carer’s situation.
Westmorland Primary School will provide young carers with opportunities to speak to someone in private, and will not discuss their situation in front of their peers.
Westmorland Primary School appreciates that young carers will not discuss their family situation unless they feel comfortable. The young person’s caring role will be acknowledged and respected.
Westmorland Primary School will treat young carers in a sensitive and child-centred way, upholding confidentiality.
Westmorland Primary School will ensure young carers can access all available support services in school and other appropriate services/agencies.
Westmorland School will follow safeguarding procedures regarding any young carer at risk of significant harm due to inappropriate levels of caring.
Westmorland School will promote discussion and learning in all areas of the curriculum to facilitate fuller understanding, acceptance of and respect for, the issues surrounding illness, disability and caring. Westmorland Primary School recognises that flexibility may be needed when responding to the needs of young carers.
Available provision includes (but is not limited to):
• Access to a telephone during breaks and lunchtime, to phone home
• Negotiable deadlines for homework/coursework (when needed)
• Access to homework clubs (where these are available)
• Lunchtime detentions rather than after school detentions (where possible)
• Arrangements for schoolwork to be sent home (where there is a genuine crisis). Any approved absence for a young carer will be time limited (DfES 2006)
• Access for parents with impaired mobility
• Alternative communication options for parents who are sensory impaired or housebound
• Advice to parents if there are difficulties in transporting a young carer to school
For more information or support please follow the links provided or speak to a member of staff.