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Carers Trust responds to school census showing massive under-representation of young carers

School census data has been released showing, for the first time, figures for the number of young carers in England. There were 38, 983 young carers recorded in the school census, well under half the 96,757 young carers aged 5-16 in England identified in the 2021 census. The true figure is likely to be far higher.

Responding to the figures, Carers Trust CEO Kirsty McHugh said:

“The school census figures for young carers are a massive under-representation of the true number and are less than half that of those recorded in the national census. The fact that 79% of schools recorded no young carers at all beggars belief and just isn’t backed up by the number of young people Carers Trust and its network of local carer organisations support every single day.

“Having long campaigned for the inclusion of young carers in the school census, Carers Trust welcomed their addition as it has the potential to improve awareness, identification and support of young carers across all schools. But the fact that nearly one in five local authorities identified fewer than 50 young carers across all their schools shows just how much work still needs to be done to ensure young carers are proactively identified, given that some are providing over 50 hours of care every week.

“We urgently need to raise awareness of young carers as the consequences of keeping our heads in the sand are too severe, blighting the education and job prospects of so many young people. This is why we have been calling for all schools to have a young carers lead and systems in place to identify young carers and enable them to access support so they can have the same educational opportunities as their peers. National and local focus is also vital to ensure we remove a postcode lottery where support is determined by which school you go to, or what area of the country you live.”

For further information and to arrange interviews with spokespeople contact:

Mark Chandler at mchandler@carers.org or 07712 427808

About Carers Trust

Carers Trust is the UK charity working to transform the lives of unpaid carers across the UK. It partners with its network of local carer organisations to provide funding and support, deliver innovative and evidence-based programmes and raise awareness & influence policy.​ Carers Trust’s vision is that unpaid carers are heard and valued, with access to support, advice and resources to enable them to live fulfilled lives.

Carers Trust hosts the Young Carers Alliance, a network of over 150 organisations and 300 individuals committed to improving identification and support for young carers and young adult carers. Carers Trust also hosts the Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance, an informal network of young carers services across Scotland. It has 51 members who provide support to young carers.


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