MYTIME’s School Support Programme
We are on the lookout for trailblazers. Teaching, support staff and schools that are committed to driving change through and that share our belief that no child’s destiny should be defined by their beginning.
Our free School Support Programme is designed to raise awareness of young carers within their schools, giving these incredible children and young people what they need to thrive.
Instrumental in providing young carers with the tools to combat loneliness and succeed, the School Support Programme will connect them with other young carers, increase their visibility in school and make sure their peers understand their roles.
We see our School Support Programme as essential for young carers and the adults that support them.
We are a charity with an educational approach to our work with young carers. We are teachers, we were young carers. We know that every school is different, that is why our school support programme is tailored to each individual educational setting we work in.
We would love to work with your school collaboratively to meaningfully embed a school support programme that works for your young carers.
We could just provide you with our list of indicators and handouts; instead, we invite you to join MYTIME on our mission to level the playing field for young carers, and find out more about the School Support Programme below.
As a result of their responsibilities 27% of young carers miss school regularly. Young carers report both physical and mental health issues linked to their caring responsibilities. They report being tired, as a result of the number of hours spent caring, having high levels of anxiety as a result of worrying about the person they are caring for and mood swings linked to living under consistent pressure. Young carers can lack access to necessities such as clothing, washing machines and other conveniences such as laptops for completing homework.
Many young carers report feeling lonely and isolated from other children their age as they are unable to spend time away from the person they are caring for. Young carers can face bullying from their peers linked to the condition that person they are caring for has. Many young carers have only have hobbies which do not take them away from home, such as listening to music, watching films or playing computer games.
Accessing extra-curricular clubs at school can be difficult as young carers, young carers can be viewed as unreliable which can mean they do not get to play for a school sport team or take part in school shows.
Young carers are more likely to become a Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), when they leave school. School holidays and weekends see an increase in their caring responsibilities and is due to a lack of other activities to engage in.
After parents, teachers were the most likely to refer young carers for assessment, yet 39% of young carers interviewed during research conducted by The Children’s Society revealed that no one at their school knew they were a young carer.
Banardo’s revealed that of the 800 school teachers and school leaders surveyed, 45% stated they would not be confident in identifying young carers and 36% said once they were able to identify a young carer they would not then know how to refer them for assessment.
There is currently no specific set of measures which schools can use to identify young carers, although indicators could include:
- High rates of absence
- Lack of homework
- Lack of participation in extracurricular activities
- Signs of neglect such as not having food or clean uniform
- Refusal to stay after school for detentions or after school activities
Only 19% of schools have provided training to teachers and staff on how to recognise young carers. Young carers stated that the support they receive in school varies from one teacher to another and if staff changes take place it can have a significant impact on the support they receive.
Ofsted highlight in their Common Inspection Framework that ‘Young carers are a vulnerable and disadvantaged group’ and therefore these students will have specific needs that schools are expected to respond to.
What we do:
We believe that with high quality support from schools young carers are capable of achieving anything they set their mind to. Through our School Support Programme we give your school the tools create an environment which helps young carers thrive and access the support they need.
Our vision is that every school will offer young carers a dedicated programme of support, which supports young carers to achieve outstanding academic success and supports both their mental and physical health. Every school has access to high quality training and support on working with and providing for young carers. Young carers are given a voice about what they would benefit from the most.
Schools are perfectly placed to provide support for young carers, due to the depth of the relationships that exist between students and their teachers, schools relationships with families and the role they play at the heart of their communities.
The MYTIME Young Carers School Support Programme will provide each school with access to a MYTIME schools co-ordinator. Our co-ordinators have a huge amount of experience working in schools and can help tailor the programme for the context of the school and the young carers there.
Our co-ordinators can work with your school to provide the following:
- Initial and ongoing assessment of schools current provision for young carers
- Initial and ongoing assessment of young carers attendance, academic achievement, physical and mental health
- Provide CPD for staff on working with young carers
- Developing a young carer policy
- Deliver assemblies to students to raise awareness and address issues around stigma and bullying
- Assist in the development of partnerships with local authority agencies
- Plan MYTIME Making Memories activities for young carers to participate in
- Young carer interviews, questionnaires and focus groups to assess effectiveness of in school provision
- Development of young carer mentoring programmes
- Access to counselling and one to one tuition through the Leonardo Trust and the Connie Rothman Learning Trust