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City of Bristol College scoops accolade for young carer support

City of Bristol College has been awarded a Bronze Award for our work to ensure that students don’t miss out on an education just 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.

Chantelle Thompson, Head of Safeguarding at the college, said: “My predecessor, Jonny, achieved this award just before I arrived – I know that he worked tirelessly as this is something that is really key to ensure that all Young Carers have access to the pivotal support required. We will now be working hard to enhance our offer further as we work towards the Silver award!”

Young carers are responsible for emotional, practical or physical care for a parent, sibling or other family member who has a physical disability, mental health issue or substance misuse issue.

The 2011 Census statistics revealed that there are just over 166,000 young carers in England, but research reveals that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The true figure could be closer to 800,000 young carers in England, equivalent to 1 in 5 secondary aged 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, mental wellbeing and significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level, because of their caring role.

Ofsted’s Common Inspection Framework states that inspectors will look at how well schools support young carers. 

To help schools and colleges to support young carers, the programme offers a step-by-step guide for leaders, teachers and non-teaching staff, with practical tools designed to make it as easy as possible for schools. Staff can also receive training through webinars and events and the programme also features a newsletter each term highlighting relevant policy developments, spotlighting good practice and giving updates on the programme’s successes. Young Carers in Schools commented: “To achieve their Bronze Award, City of Bristol College 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 lets students and their families know where to go for help”

Giles Meyer, Chief Executive of Carers Trust, congratulated the college amongst the other award-winning schools, adding: “The Young Carers in Schools programme is helping to transform schools and support staff across England. Schools play a vital role in a young carer’s life, as many care for relatives without their teachers even knowing what they do. On average young carers will miss a day of school each month as a result of their caring role, so the steps schools / colleges take to identify and support them can have a huge impact on their learning, wellbeing and life chances.”

If you are a young carer and studying with us. you can click here to discover the various ways in which we can support you.

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