Young Carers Speak at Headteachers Conference

Last month two young carers, Amy, in Year 9 and Ruby, in Year 7, spoke online at the North Tyneside Head teachers conference. The head teachers conference takes place every term, and involves all headteachers of every school in North Tyneside. Amy and Ruby spoke about the impact the pandemic has had on young carers, and explain how schools can help and support young carers. The did a brilliant job and were able to represent all young carers in North Tyneside. The headteachers were so impressed and moved by what they heard, that young carers have been invited to speak again at the next headteachers conference.

This is what they said:

Amy: Do teachers know I am a young carer? How are teachers in your school made aware of who is a young carer in their class?

Ruby: We often don’t realise we are a young carer, and many young carers don’t recognise caring until someone explains what being a young carer means. Caring for us is just life.

Ruby: As young carers quarantine hasn’t been the easiest. I’ve realised that as a young carer I needed school more than I thought I did. We’ve missed out on well over a year of school.

Amy: I haven’t had a full year of high school yet, and I am in year 9.

Amy: We feel schools need to use form time, so that other students can understand about young carers. It’s important that teachers are trained about the issues we face, and that teachers know who is a young carer in their class.

Ruby: Sometimes we might feel upset or struggle to concentrate because we have difficult times at home, and we aren’t always given the time or understanding by teachers in class.

Ruby: In future, we hope for every staff member in schools to understand the needs of young carers and the challenges we face in schools.

Amy: We also would like other young people to learn about what it is like to have a caring responsibility.

Amy: As a headteacher in North Tyneside what can you do for us and all young carers in every school?”

Well done to you both!