Schools accused of failing to meet young carers’ needs

Schools are failing to support young carers, new research published today by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers has revealed.

Over half of young carers surveyed by the charity said their school did not make any allowances for them, despite being aware of their situation.

The charity’s young carers development manager, Alex Fox, said the young carers questioned had highlighted the need for homework deadlines to be extended and for access to a telephone during the school day to allow them to check up on those they cared for.

“Young carers often tell us that they don’t see a future beyond caring because they don’t have any qualifications,” he said.

“We can’t always ensure that families find a better source of support than a young person, but we want to make sure that young carers receive a fair education so they can have a future.”

Responding to the report, a spokesperson for the Department for Education and Skills insisted the government’s Quality Protects programme to improve children’s social services and the national strategy for carers had prioritised services for young carers.

He added that young carers were also one of eight groups targeted by the vulnerable children grant introduced in 2003 to help ensure vulnerable children had access to high quality education.

“We want to ensure that young carers gain maximum life chances and should not be expected to carry inappropriate levels of caring which have an adverse impact on their development and life chances,” he said.

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