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Carers in Education: new research findings

07 June 2015

Carers were asked which education services were the best at meeting their needs and which failed to include them.

Of those carers with experience of school, sixth form or college, almost half (45%)

found the environment to be carer-friendly, but almost a third (31%) found it not to be.

This was a similar experience for the carers who had experience of university. A third (31%) of carers found the university they attended was carer-friendly, compared with an almost identical number of carers (32%) who didn't.

Where carers found their school, sixth form, college or university to be the least carer-friendly service in their community:
• 7 in 10 (71%) said it had a negative impact on their mental or physical health
• 6 in 10 (62%) of carers said it made it more difficult to look after the person their care for
• Almost 4 in 10 (37%) said it had a negative impact on their relationships with friends and family

Useful background statistics: carers in education

• One in 12 secondary school pupils are young carers, that's two pupils per class (BBC & University of Nottingham, 2010)
• Young adult carers aged 16-18 are twice as likely as their peers to not be in education, employment or training (NEET) (Hidden from view: The experiences of young carers in England, The Children's Society, 2013)
• Young adult carers are likely to achieve a grade less in each subject at GCSE than their peers (Hidden from view: The experiences of young carers in England, The Children's Society, 2013)
• Young adult carers miss an average of 48 school days a year due to their role (Time to be heard, Carers Trust & University of Nottingham, 2013-14)
• The number of 5-7 year olds providing care increased by 83% between 2001 and 2011 (Census, 2011)


Here are some examples of case studies of services that show how they have adjusted their practices to meet the needs of carers:

Powys Carers Service: Community outreach for young adult carers

Powys Carers Service has a dedicated Young Adult Carers service, which provides young adult carers with advocacy and support in school. They talk about 'what's next' for these young carers and works to overcome some of the barriers they face. They have been involved in the Carers Trust's Take Action programme.

Edinburgh College: Programme to identify and support hidden carers who are students

Each of the college's four campuses has an allocated member of staff who can advise students on benefits and funding for young carers, along with the contact details of organisations who can provide further support. The college also offers flexible attendance to students who are young carers and understands that these students may need to leave their mobile phones on during lessons.

Carers Week 2018

These organisations joined together to make Carers Week happen in 2018

  • logo01
  • Carers UK new logo
  • image description
  • independent age
  • macmillan
  • MSS-logo-orange partnersrow
  • MND logo
  • Which Elderly Care logo

Proudly supported by:

  • The Lockwood
    Charitable Foundation
  • Nutricia


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