Southport College & KGV Sixth Form College in Southport are the first school or college in Sefton to have been given a Bronze Award for their work to make sure students don’t miss out on an education because they are young carers.
The Young Carers in Schools programme helps colleges, primary and secondary schools improve outcomes for young carers and celebrates good practice through the Young Carers in Schools Award.
Michelle Brabner, Principal and CEO at the college said “I am delighted that we have been awarded such a prestigious accolade and am very proud of the Student Support Team for all their hard work helping and supporting our students who are also young carers, to have a successful, fulfilling and happy time with us.
At Southport College we believe every student should have the opportunity to achieve their dreams and ambitions whatever their circumstances and it is wonderful to see the Carers Trust and Children’s Society recognise this in this way.”
Young carers are responsible for emotional, practical or physical care for a parent, sibling or other family member who has a physical disability, mental health issue or substance misuse issue. The 2011 Census statistics revealed that there are just over 166,000 young carers in England, but research reveals that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The true figure could be closer to 800,000 young carers in England, equivalent to one in 5 secondary aged school children many of whom are unrecognised and unsupported.
Research carried out by Carers Trust and The Children’s Society shows that, on average, young carers miss or cut short 48 school days a year and often have lower levels of self-confidence, mental wellbeing and significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level, because of their caring role.
To achieve their Bronze Award Southport College and KGV Sixth Form College have demonstrated that they support young carers in many ways, including study groups and drop-in sessions with a member of staff who is responsible for this vulnerable group of pupils. Vital information about how to identify young carers is made available to all staff, and noticeboards and the school webpage let students and their families know where to go for help.