Narrowing the Attainment Gap of Young Carers

August 17, 2014 8:03 PM

A fund similar to that of the pupil premium for young carers will be proposed by Liberal Democrats at the next full council meeting at Shire Hall in September.

In the county, currently 1,031 young carers aged between 5 and 24 are being supported by 'Carers Gloucestershire' in partnership with 'Gloucestershire Young Carers'.

An online pupil survey indicated that the majority of those self-identified young carers in the county receive help and support from their school or college.

Unequivocal evidence from a mapping exercise undertaken in Oxfordshire however shows that there is nevertheless an educational attainment gap between those who are young carers and other pupils.

Colin HayCllr. Colin Hay (LD: All Saints & Oakley) will at council propose that the Leader write to the newly appointed Secretary of State for Education, the Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP and the Liberal Democrat Minister of State for Schools, the Rt Hon David Laws MP, requesting that a response is given to whether a fund similar to that of the pupil premium be considered for young carers.

Cllr. Hay said that "Young carers are particularly vulnerable to educational underachievement. A key issue for many young carers is their engagement with school.

"Data collected in Oxfordshire and nationally show young carers are much more likely to be persistently absent from school and gain lower grades in their GCSEs than other pupils.

"Evidence suggests that it is through schools and colleges that young carers are receiving the majority of help and support, if this is the case, then, like the pupil premium, which a school receives for every pupil eligible for free school meals, a similar fund should also be given to schools for each and every identified young carer.

"This may go some way to helping schools identify young carers within their school and reduce the attainment gap between them and other pupils.

"I hope my proposal for the Leader to write to those responsible for making possible such a fund will be fully supported by all members of Gloucestershire County Council".