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.
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
Oxfordshire ambulance services accused of "playing god" and "putting lives at risk" in new drug trial
9:00am Tuesday 27th January 2015
CARDIAC arrest patients could be given a salt solution instead of adrenaline as part of a new medical trial in Oxfordshire.
4:10pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
Heavy snow is set to hit the county on Thursday morning, according to the Met Office.
2:57pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
THE jury in the Jake Blakeley trial has been sent home for the night.
2:15pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
A 15-year-old boy was approached by a man in a blue van in Bicester yesterday
12:49pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
THE funeral of an Oxford Railway Station staff member will be held next week.
12:43pm Tuesday 27th January 2015
THE foster mother of the alleged victim of child prostitution told a jury yesterday how her daughter was sent across the country for sex.