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News > School News > Young Carer Awareness Day

Young Carer Awareness Day

On the 30th January 2020 it is Young Carers Awareness Day which is helping to drive attention to the amount of young carers there are now in the UK and what impact this responsibility has on them.
30 Jan 2020
School News
Young Carers Awareness Day
Young Carers Awareness Day

Young Carers Awareness Day 30th January 2020
Every day across the UK thousands of young people help to look after someone in their family, or a friend, who is ill, disabled or misuses drugs or alcohol.   Young carers will have many more responsibilities than most young people.  These can include things like helping someone get up and dressed, looking after siblings, managing the family budget, and helping out around the house.

The Care and Support Statutory Guidance, issued under the Care Act, states that - ‘Children should not undertake inappropriate or excessive caring roles that may have an impact on their development. A young carer becomes vulnerable when their caring role risks impacting upon their emotional or physical well-being and their prospects in education and life.’

How being a young carer can affect school?

Inappropriate levels of caring impact on a child’s emotional and physical health, as well as their educational achievement and life
chances.  Young carers should be treated as children first, and as such have a right to feel happy and well, to have adequate leisure time, good emotional and physical health and a family life.

Life at school provides challenges for all young people, but for those with a caring role at home there are often additional difficulties with their education. Commonly there are issues with attendance, concentration, behaviour, achievement and home-school communication.
Caring can have a big impact on learning with many young carers having stated the following:
  • Problems completing homework
  • They can struggle to concentrate in class because they are tired or worrying about the person they look after
  • Isolation from other children of the same age and from other family members, feeling that no one else understands their experience
  • Lack of time for play, sport or leisure activities
  • Conflict between the needs of the person they are helping and their own needs leading to feelings of guilt and resentment
  • Feeling that there is nobody there for them; that professionals do not listen to them and are working only with the adult
  • Lack of recognition, praise or respect for their contribution.
  • Feeling that they are different from other children and are unable to be part of the group.
  • Problems moving into adulthood, especially with finding work, their own home and establishing relationships.
Research has shown that providing a child with appropriate support has led to better academic outcomes, higher self-esteem, heightened aspirations and also had a positive impact on the whole family.   
Every child deserves the best start in life, so it is vital vulnerable children who face barriers to success are given full support, both emotionally and academically.

We support children with various difficult family circumstances, who have lost one or both parents, have a chronically ill parent, have been abandoned or abused or the parent can no longer meet their daily needs.  These children are our Foundationers.   Over the years we have identified many young carers and wherever possible provided them with the support they need through our Foundation. 

We have recently identified a couple of students who would benefit from intervention to prevent them suffering neglect and improve their future outcomes.  We can provide these children with a safe, nurturing learning environment and a structured living and social environment. They would receive healthy meals, supervised homework, counselling  and access to clubs and activities.    

We could not support our Foundationers without the help of Trusts and Charities who contribute towards some of their costs but we still need extra funding in order give these children the support they deserve.  If you feel able to help us with this vital work, we would be tremendously grateful.  You can do so by contacting the development team on 01737 649111 or at
The case study below illustrates how, with the correct support, a child’s life can be turned around. 

Rebecca’s story

Shortly after Rebecca joined the school as a Flexi Boarder her mother, a single parent, suffered a serious fall which resulted in a lengthy hospitalisation.

During this time, the School offered Rebecca a temporary Full Boarding place to alleviate the strain the family were experiencing and to ensure that Rebecca’s education was not affected. Unfortunately, doctors discovered that Rebecca’s mother had a serious long-term illness which meant she required additional support with daily tasks. Rebecca’s grandmother stepped in and became her full-time carer. However, not long after, Rebecca’s grandmother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and passed away the following year.

Due to her ill-health and grief, Rebecca’s mother struggled to provide the support Rebecca needed, and Rebecca was at risk of becoming a young carer. Knowing the strained home circumstance, the School stepped in and offered Rebecca a Full Boarding Foundationer place. Her place was funded by the School’s charitable Foundation and the Reedham Children’s Trust.

Becoming a Full Boarder meant Rebecca could concentrate on her academic studies without the worries of home, and her emotional wellbeing could be better supported by the School’s pastoral team.  Her time at the School proved successful – Rebecca went on to achieved 11 GCSEs at grades A-C and she exceeded her A Level predicted grades.  She is now at university studying Politics and International Relations. 

As well as these fantastic academic achievements, Rebecca also gained valuable life experiences during her time as a pupil. She went on a school trip to Malawi, which, in part aimed to visit and help the Open Arms Orphanage, a charity the School has supported for a number of years. Rebecca was determined to go on the trip and fundraised to pay for her place.  Whilst in Malawi she helped with building works for the Open Arms Orphanage and spent time with a toddler named Grace.   

In a speech at the official opening of Gatton Hall by HRH the Duchess of Gloucester, Rebecca’s mother explained how the impact of Rebecca’s boarding place had been far-reaching for the family. She was truly grateful to the Royal Alexandra and Albert School for their support.


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