Advice for Professionals

Helping schools be ready for young carers being added to the school census

From spring 2023, young carers are for the first time going to be included on the school census return. This will provide a much better picture of the number of young carers in schools, but also presents opportunities to use this data to monitor attendance and attainment of young carers. That’s why we’ve set up the Young Carers Challenge to help schools get ready for this change.

Who are young carers?

A young carer is someone under the age of 18 who looks after someone who has a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol addiction. As well as those caring for parents, they may also look after brothers, sisters or elderly relatives too. Research suggests that 10% of all children are providing high or very high levels of care. Local estimates suggest that there are one or two young carers in every class.

What are we asking schools to do?

We want you to sign up to the Young Carers Challenge by completing the form at the bottom of this page

We want to help ensure that every young carer in the county is identified at the earliest opportunity and gets access to the available support. To achieve this Caring Together, Norfolk County Council and Young Carers Matter Norfolk, with the support of organisations across the county, have set a challenge that by the end of the 2022-23 academic year, every Norfolk school will:

  1. Have a Young Carers Champion so that every young carer has a trusted adult in school they can go to if things are difficult, or they need more support.
  2. Have a young carers agreement / policy (ideally designed with young carers) so that every young carer in Norfolk knows what support is available to them in their school and locally.
  3. Ensure young carers are correctly identified in their school pupil management systems, so they are picked up in the census return.  Monitor indicators such as attendance and attainment using the young carer flag.

What support is available for schools?

Caring Together have produced accompanying resources around the school census and are running free support sessions for schools in the autumn term.

You can download the pack for Norfolk schools below, this includes details of online workshops and sessions you can book on to.

Young carers and the schools census comms (Norfolk) [PDF, 406kB]

Schools can email for more information.

Young Carers Challenge briefing for governors

Caring Together and other members of the Young Carers Alliance have produced a briefing for governors around the school census and young carers and what they can do within their particular role.

Young carers briefing for governors (Norfolk) [PDF, 119kB]

Young carers checklist for schools

We have produced a checklist which headteachers and senior leaders can use to ensure they are prepared for the addition of young carers to the census and that any young carers identified are linked into support. You can download this checklist below:

Young carers checklist for schools (Norfolk) [Word, 63kB]

School email / letter for young carers

Below is a template email which Ash, a young carer, put together. This can help other young carers send similar ones to their school. Personalise the content for you and your school by simply changing the highlighted parts. Then copy and paste into an email, but remember to take out the highlighting once you have put in your details).

Young Carers Challenge young carer email or letter (Norfolk) [Word, 269kB]

School email / letter for parents

Below are templates that parents. Whether you are a parent of a young carer, or another parent who wants to see young carers better identified and supported, simply change the parts that are highlighted to personalise the content for you and your child’s school. Then copy and paste into an email (taking out the highlighting once you have put in your details).

Parent of young carers letter (Norfolk) [Word, 40kB]

Young Carers Challenge parent letter (Norfolk) [Word, 43kB]

Young Carers Matter Norfolk

We are a partnership of local voluntary sector organisations led by Voluntary Norfolk and commissioned by Norfolk County Council. We provide a range of support including:

  • Information and advice
  • One-to-one and group support
  • Whole-family support
  • The opportunity to meet other young carers

Visit our homepage to find out more about the support we can give to professionals, young carers and families.