At Sugar Hill Primary School we are committed to Young Carers and have put systems in place to identify and support them. We currently hold the Young Carers Accreditation Mark 2015-2017.
If your child is a Young Carer please contact Mrs Legge and we can discuss how your child can be sensitively supported at Sugar Hill.
A Young Carer is someone between the ages of 5-18 years who has caring responsibilities for a family member at home who has:
A serious or long term illness
A physical disability
A mental health problem
A drug or alcohol dependency
A learning disability
Young Carers’ may do things like:
Preparing or cooking food
Communicating on behalf of someone else
Ensuring someone’s safety
Providing emotional support
Indications that a pupil is a Young Carer
The pupil may:
May be late for school for no apparent reason or have erratic attendance.
Might be often tired, withdrawn or pre-occupied.
May have difficulty in joining in activities outside of school hours.
Could be a victim of bullying- may have few friends or skills with own age group.
May be under-achieving. Often hasn’t completed homework or it’s of a poor quality.
Could be anxious or concerned over ill/disabled relative.
May display behavioural/emotional problems.
Might have physical problems such as back pain from lifting an adult.
At Sugar Hill Primary school we recognise these signs and behaviours could indicate other problems, but being a Young Carer should be considered a possibility and explored with the pupil in a private place. The Class Teacher/Support Assistant may refer the pupil to the Key Worker for further support. Our Deputy Head Teacher and SENCo Mrs. Kathy Legge, is the nominated Key Worker in our school. In her absence all members of the Senior Management Team are nominated personnel for staff concerns re pupils and our Social Learning Mentor Mrs Atkinson Jones.
Why we feel it is important for our school to have a Young Carers’ Policy.
Research tells us that Young Carers have explained that they don’t always feel supported appropriately at school. We believe the implementation of this policy will increase communication between our school and the Young Carers’ Service. We feel that this will support pupils in a way that will benefit them. We take seriously our responsibility to respond promptly and effectively to the needs of Young Carers. At Sugar Hill Primary School it is the responsibility of everyone working in school to meet the outcomes set out in the Every Child Matters (ECM) document to secure a better future for children, whatever their background. We always aim to ensure children can:
Enjoy and achieve
Make a positive contribution
Achieve economic well being
We have a Young Carers Policy and will consider actions to support Young Carers in particular circumstances.
We will always consider a confidential approach, providing a private space to speak with pupils who are taking on a caring role and to listen to their voice. We recognise, however, that some Young Carers prefer not to discuss their caring role; but others might find it helpful to dicuss their own personal situation with a member of staff. We will ensure that all Young Carers are reminded of our Anti-Bullying policy and ensure that their experience is that this is being adhered to in practice. We will help Young Carers to become aware of what their rights are in school. We will set up a card system for Young Carers (if required) to be excused from class if they need support to deal with their emotions outside the classroom environment. We will set up a ‘Late Pass’ card system (if required) for genuine reasons that cause Young Carers to be late, so children arriving late to class, are not questioned by staff, about their lateness. We will ensure that all Young Carers are provided with additional support in school, as necessary, with homework tasks, which are not easily completed at home. We will set up ‘Pastoral Support Plans’ (if required) for each Young Carer within school.These plans will be supported by Mrs Atkinson-Jones (Social Learning Mentor) and/or Bridge Young Carers’ Service. We will maintain flexible arrangements for parents with disabilities to access our school/information about school including regular contact with Mrs Legge and/or Mrs Atkinson Jones. The Key Worker, Mrs Kathy Legge supported by Mrs Atkinson Jones will offer joint home visits for parents/carers if this is the preferred option for parents/carers rather than meeting in school.School staff will work actively to refer pupils they think may be a Young Carer to Mrs Legge and Mrs Atkinson Jones for sensitive contact to made with the child’s family prior to any referral to Bridge Young Carers’ Service. Parental permission will always be sought prior to any referral to an outside agency for a pupil in school staff think may be a Young Carer. If a referral is agreed Family Action- Bridge Young Carers’ Service aims to reduce the caring role of children by involving other services and enabling the family to find other solutions. Where caring continues, services will help to reduce the impact of the caring role.
The services provide:
- informal advocacy
- one-to-one and family support
- group support
- time out from the caring role
- training and awareness-raising for other agencies.
Staff from Bridge Young Carers’ will be invited into school (when appropriate) to attend ‘Parent/Carer Awareness Sessions’ and/or Key Stage/Whole School Parent Sessions to raise awareness of the work of ‘Bridge Young Carers’ and how they can support Young Carers and their families. Posters,Flyers and Newsletters will be displayed in school to provide information about ‘Family Action- Bridge Young Carers’ for children and their families. Information about ‘Family Action-Bridge Young Carers’ will be uploaded and regularly updated on our School Website. Young Carers will not be identified on the school website without parent and pupil permission.
Desired Outcomes of our Young Carers Policy and Practice
Governors, teaching and non-teaching staff will be aware of identified Young Carers within school and how we can work together sensitively to support them.
Young Carers will feel that there is more support for them within school and so will be more likely to talk with staff about their caring role. This will help to maintain an understanding and positive relationship between the pupil, their family, our school and the Young Carers’ Service.