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Young carers and the school census

As a result of campaigning by Carers Trust, The Children’s Society and other charities, young carers were added to the Spring school census for state schools in England from January 2023.

Schools are asked to record if a pupil is a young carer, and if so, who they were identified by (school or parent). This applies to primary and secondary schools, special schools, and alternative provision providers.

The results of the school census in relation to young carers

The latest school census data relating to young carers was released in June 2024 on the Department for Education website.

Nationally, 53,976 pupils were recorded as young carers, representing 0.6% of the pupil population and an average of 337 young carers per local authority. This represents a significant under-reporting of the number of young carers in schools, both when compared to the estimated number of young carers in schools, and the numbers known to local young carer services. This under-reporting was caused by the fact that 72% of schools recorded having zero young carers in their school.

Carers Trust briefing on the school census and young carers
Carers Trust has produced an insights briefing analysing the results of the 2024 school census in relation to young carers, which is available here.

Breakdown of school census and young carers recording by local authority area
Carers Trust has also produced a breakdown of all of the data relating to young carers, broken down by local authority area and school type. This is available here.

Where can you find out more?
If you are from a school and are looking to improve your ability to identify and support young carers in your school, Carers Trust and The Children's Society jointly run the Young Carers in Schools programme. There are a wide range of free resources available to support schools - visit www.youngcarersinschools.com to find out more.

If you have any questions
Please e-mail youngcarers@carers.org and one of the young carers team will be happy to answer.