Stockport School

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Stockport School

Ofsted Good School

Policy

Stockport School 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.

Definition

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 inappropriate 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

Caring Tasks

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.
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 heir other caring responsibilities.
Communication & Interpreting Communicating on behalf of the adult or family with agencies/services and interpreting for a language or sensory impairment.

 

Possible effect on education

Stockport 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.