1. ITV Report

Calls for schools to improve way they support young carers

Christopher has cared for his mother since he was a child

There are calls for schools to improve the way they support young carers in education.

Carers Trust Wales say a lack of understanding at school can have a negative impact on academic achievement.

Young carers are more likely to miss school and achieve lower grades, according to the charity.

The last census in 2011 showed that there are 7,544 young carers in Wales.

The Carers Trust Wales' Young Adult Carers Council report says young people are caring for relatives without their knowledge of education and health professionals, even though their caring role creates demands that impact on their capacity achieve at school and their health and wellbeing.

Their research shows a quarter of young carers are bullied because of their caring role.

To support schools to have the tools, knowledge and understanding to better support young carers, Carers Trust Wales has developed a Step by Step Guide, to raise awareness amongst teaching staff, governors, pupils and young carers themselves about who young carers are, what they do and how they can be better identified and supported.

As part of this project, 12 pilot schools across Wales have used the toolkit to improve how they support young carers within their schools, with great success.

Our new inspection arrangements for schools have been in place since September 2017.

The progress all pupils make is still at the core of our inspections.

We have an even greater focus now on how well a school tracks and monitors pupils' progress and wellbeing and uses this information to provide support.

By asking schools about young carers, this will help us better understand what work is being done to support this group of pupils and share effective practice.

– Meilyr Rowlands, Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales

It is essential that schools are encouraged to think creatively about how they can best support their young carers.

No two young carers are the same and it is important that education professionals are empowered to identify innovative approaches to helping young carers at school.

– Simon Hatch, Director or Carers Trust Wales