SCHOOLS have been honoured for giving youngsters who care for family members extra support.
Oxfordshire County Council has recognised 18 schools under the Schools Standards Awards (SSA).
Its young carers manager Deborah Parkhurst set up the scheme – with 37 county schools – to support 1,500 young carers.
It aims support the welfare of young carers and help them get the best possible GCSE results.
They include homework and after school clubs and face-to-face counselling sessions to share experiences and boost their confidence.
More than 100 teachers and young carers attended an awards ceremony at Magdalen College, Oxford, last month.
Among those who have been supported by the school is Cheney School pupil Jason Hessleton, 14.
He helps look after his mum, Denise, 43, and step-dad, Craig Wright, 43, who are both deaf, and has been attending the young carers club since it started at the school.
The Headington youngster, an only child, said: “It has given me somewhere to go and helped me improve my work.
“This year I won most improved student in the school, I was shocked when I found out.
“I have had to help my mum all my life. I know sign language and if people don’t know it then I have to help when we go out and when people come to the door.”
Mrs Parkhouse said: “We need to change the culture in the schools, we need it to be easier for young carers to come forward, we need it to be a positive experience.
“It is not any more complicated than asking students what they did when they got home from school.
“For young carers that is something like ‘I sat with my mum because she was upset’, or ‘I had to do the cooking’, or ‘ I put my brothers and sisters to bed.’ “But it is having the confidence to ask the questions in the first place.”
Among the schools recognised was Banbury Academy, which supports more than 50 young carers.
Vice principal Simon Davies said: “We asked ourselves how many young carers do we have and we didn’t really know. I think over the past year something that has changed is that they are not embarrassed by it anymore, it is just something that they are or aren’t.
“And they are quite happy talking about it and a lot of them are quite proud to be carers.
“A lot of them are really proud of it.”
Those receiving recognition
Bartholomew School – silver
The Henry Box School – silver
The Warriner School – bronze
St Nicholas Primary School – silver
Wolvercote Primary School – bronze
Windmill Primary School – bronze
Cheney School – silver
Fir Tree Junior School – silver
Abbey Wood Academy – bronze
Faringdon Junior School – bronze
Caldecott Primary School – bronze
Wheatley Park School – bronze
Faringdon Community College – bronze
Chiltern Edge School – silver
Didcot Girls’ School – silver
Fitzharrys School – silver
Lord William’s School – silver
Banbury Academy – silver
- Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone's contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.
Send your Letter to the Editor: What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter for publication here
11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
What do you think? We welcome letters from our readers on a wide variety of subjects and you can send us a letter through the blue headline above.
Our top stories
9:00am Saturday 28th February 2015
AS 1,000 lifesavers have now been trained across Oxfordshire, the campaign to install more than 300 defibrillators is set to hit its target next month.
8:30am Saturday 28th February 2015
A GOOD Samaritan who said she was conned out of £70 by a highway fraudster is warning others about being caught in his trap.
8:00am Saturday 28th February 2015
BICESTER is set for television stardom as the man behind Channel 4’s Grand Designs heads is headed to Graven Hill.
7:00am Saturday 28th February 2015
A HANDYMAN has spent the last three months fitting boilers not for the home, but for the catwalk.
6:30am Saturday 28th February 2015
THE Government has lost track of where 30 per cent of state school and college students in Oxfordshire are going when they leave, new data has revealed.
6:00am Saturday 28th February 2015
DISCUSSIONS are now under way to come up with fresh ideas for the future of Botley’s West Way shopping centre.