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Young Carers Policy

Teach children how they should live and they will remember it all their lives.

Proverb Ch 22 v 6


Date of policyAutumn Term 2023

Date reviewed by the Governing



Member of staff responsible in

Cerne Abbas CE VC First School

Catherine Cresswell
Review dateAutumn Term 2024


Our vision is to be the best we can be.


We are committed to nurturing every child to thrive in a safe and engaging environment based on our Christian values of Peace, Trust, Friendship, Joy, Courage and Forgiveness. We strive to develop happy and confident learners ready to face the challenges of their next steps.


This policy is underpinned by our core Christian values. We look for how these values can be demonstrated and discovered in each lesson.


Definition of a Young Carer


A child under the age of 18 years who provides, or intends to provide, care for another person in their family. This could be care for a parent, a sibling or grandparent. Reasons that young people care could be because of:

  • A long term illness or health condition (for example epilepsy, diabetes, cancer)
  • Physical disabilities such as mobility issues or blindness
  • Mental Health conditions or illness
  • Misuses substances such as alcohol or drugs
  • Dependent on others due to old age
  • Special educational needs which includes family members with ADHD, ASD etc
  • Supporting siblings in any way


A young carer is aged 5-17. Signs that someone could be a young carer include: not completing homework, absenteeism, lateness, inability to take part in after school activities. often tired, distracted, withdrawn or anxious.


At Cerne Abbas CE VC First School we acknowledge, recognise and value the caring responsibilities that pupils in our community have. As a school, we strive to raise the awareness of these young carers amongst staff and pupils, to provide effective support for our young carers and remove any barriers which could potentially inhibit their academic, social and personal development. 


We want young carers in our school to feel seen, feel heard and feel supported. By engaging with the Level Up Programme, we hope to improve the support in place for young carers which in the long-term, will have a positive impact on young carer’s academic performance, attendance and aspirations. This policy outlines the whole school approaches and strategies that will enable young carers at Cerne Abbas CE VC First School to flourish.   


At Cerne Abbas CE VC First School, we have high expectations of all pupils, and we believe all pupils should have equal opportunities. However, every child needs to feel safe, supported and understood to achieve self-actualisation. National statistics suggest that young carers do not always feel this way in school. A survey conducted by the Carer’s Trust (2023) highlighted that over 42% of young carers ‘always’ or ‘usually’ feel stressed and 52% said they do ‘not often’ or ‘never’ get help from school to balance their work. We recognise that that such caring responsibilities can, and will, have an impact on a child’s social and emotional wellbeing and their academic performance. Therefore, we are committed to improving provision and support at Cerne Abbas CE VC First School to enable young carers fulfil their potential. 


MYTIME Young Carer’s data collected in March 2023 shows that after engagement with the Level Up Programme, over 85% of young carers had someone trusted to speak to, over 80% of young carers had a regular opportunity to meet other young carers and that they felt more positively about how their peers and school staff thought about and recognised young carers. 


"I like going to young carers group as I listen to other people’s stories, and it makes me realise I'm not the only one going through it. It makes me feel less lonely." –  Dorset primary young carer, March 2023. 


By working closely with MYTIME Young Carers, Cerne Abbas CE VC First School will ensure that all stakeholders have a greater understanding of who young carers are, the challenges they face and how they will be supported. The whole school and classroom strategies are outlined in this policy, staff and pupils will be exposed to training and sessions to raise awareness. We will use the voices of the young carers in our school to shape the support available.  


(Carers Trust (2023) Being a young carer is not a choice. It’s just what we do.



  • To raise awareness of young carers among staff  
  • To ensure identification of all young carers as early as possible on entry to the school  
  • To refer young carers to the council where appropriate 
  • To foster respect and understanding towards young carers among all pupils
  • To address any underlying inequalities between young carers and other pupils in a graduated and timely manner 
  • To improve the progress and raise the standard of achievement for young carers
  • To support young carers in improving their attendance  
  • To ensure that young carers feel included and supported within their school community and that reasonable adjustments made to promote this
  • To improve the wellbeing and self-worth of young carers in the school community
  • To protect young carers from unjust treatment due to their caring role and improve co-ordination with other agencies and support services 
  • To give young carers a voice in the school community and involve them in decisions affecting young carer provision 
  • To ensure that staff recognise flexibility may be needed when responding to the needs of young carers 


 Whole school strategies for supporting young carers 

We will Work with families by: 

  • Providing opportunities for parents to declare their child is a young carer on application forms 
  • Having a Young Carer Champion that families can communicate with 
  • Signposting families to MYTIME and additional support available 


Enable young carers to influence decisions and provision by: 

  • Asking young carers what they would like to do in their YC group if the need for a  

group arises. 


We will monitor young carers by: 

  • Considering them as a separate vulnerable group 
  •  Ensuring they are on the school’s My Concern system
  • Tracking young carer attendance and attainment
  •  Discussing young carers with governors


We will create an ethos and environment that promotes respect and understanding around young carers by: 

  • Delivering assemblies on young carers 
  • Delivering PSHE lessons from MYTIME on young carers 
  • Promoting learning, acceptance and respect around illnesses, disability and substance misuse. 
  • Have a visual presence including posters 


We will Inform and empower our staff by 

  • Hosting staff training on young carers 
  • Having a staff member who is an appointed Young Carer Champion 
  •  Include young carers on transition notes. 


 Support and adjustments for young carers 

  • There is a dedicated Young Carer Champion Catherine Cresswell who supports young carers. Young carers can speak to the champion at anytime 
  • If a young carer has incorrect or missing uniform, we will provide them with access to spare uniform discreetly 
  • Provide opportunities for the young carer to communicate with that person through phone calls if and when needed 
  • If a young carer is struggling to complete their home learning we will provide opportunities for the young carer to complete home learning at school (during school times) or/and amend home learning expectations, as appropriate 


To support young carers with their mental health, we will: 

  • Provide emotional support as appropriate
  • If a young carer is falling behind their peers academically, we will put interventions in place as appropriate.
  • If a young carer is struggling with attendance, we will have open conversations with families around barriers to attendance/ punctuality and put any support that may be needed into place. 


To allow a young carer to connect with other young carers, we will: 

  • Explore setting up a young carer group 
  • Bring young carers on a MYTIME school event 
  • Share information about MYTIME Zoom Youth Group and Making Memories holiday events


Cerne Abbas CE VC First School actively promotes the welfare and wellbeing of all pupils. Where appropriate, the school will refer a young carer to the local authority for a referral with permission of the parents/carers. The school will follow the school’s safeguarding policy regarding any young carer at risk of significant harm due to inappropriate levels of caring.  


The young carer champion will consult with relevant colleagues, and other agencies, regarding their caring responsibilities, with the consent of the young carer. When emailing MYTIME Young Carers about individual young carers, Cerne Abbas CE VC First School will refrain from using names to prevent sensitive information being passed around via emails. When it is necessarily to specify who the young carer is, Cerne Abbas CE VC First School will use year group and initials to protect data (example, CB8), in line with the Data Protection Act, 2018. 


A positive, purposeful and enthusiastic atmosphere

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