Frequently asked questions and further information about the Young Carers in Schools award

Young male sitting at desk working with project worker


We all know that protecting the confidentiality of the young people we work with is of the utmost importance, however sometimes it can be difficult to know when it is okay to share information, and when it is not appropriate.

We would like to remind anyone applying for a Young Carers in Schools award that applications are sent to independent verifiers selected from a multi-agency panel, and as such we ask all applicants to be aware of data protection guidelines when sharing information in applications.

When submitting your evidence, please ensure that young people cannot be identified - for example by removing or blacking out surnames on a list, or if submitting a case study as part of your application, referring to the young person(s) by their initial(s). We would also ask that you consider the ways in which your school circulates the names of its young carers. It is wonderful to have all school staff working together to support young carers, but this information must be shared sensitively; for example, via face-to-face discussions or email, rather than messages and lists placed on a staff-room noticeboard, which may be accessible to other students or visitors.

Frequently asked questions

  1. My area has a local award / healthy schools award - can I still apply for a national Young Carers Award?
  2. How can I submit my application? 
  3. Can I apply for any level award?
  4. When will I hear about my award?
  5. When will I receive my award? 
  6. How do I upload my online award to my schools website?
  7. What do I do if I am unsuccessful?
  8. When and how can I submit additional evidence for my award?
  9. Do I have to re-submit all evidence when applying for the next level of award?
  10. How do I use the step by step guide?
  11. I represent a post-16 institution - can I apply?
  12. How are young carers involved in the programme?

My area has a local award - can I still apply for a national Young Carers award?

Yes - we are happy to work alongside schools and areas that have local awards. 

Local Awards

Over the three years since Young Carers in Schools was launched nationally, we have worked with different local areas that have established and coordinated local awards for recognising schools for their work with young carers. One way we can do this is by mapping the criteria for a local award against the Young Carers in Schools Award, meaning that a school can be recognised both locally and nationally without duplicating their work.

If you have a local award programme, or you believe that your local area has already worked with Young Carers in Schools, please send us an email to learn more about this process.

Healthy Schools

Some schools may have achieved, or may be working towards, Healthy Schools status. Whilst the Government no longer funds a national Healthy Schools Programme, there are a number of local Healthy Schools initiatives in place around the country.

Several criteria for Healthy Schools status overlap with the Young Carers in Schools Award, although Healthy Schools status is sometimes achieved through a self-assessment process, rather than through the submission and verification of evidence.

If you are working towards Healthy Schools status it might mean that you are already implementing some of the support that is recommended by the Young Carers in Schools programme. For example, staff training and development plans, ensuring the promotion of good mental health and wellbeing, and recognising that the voice of young people should be heard, and that you can evidence these as part of your Young Carers in Schools Award application.  

If you wish to apply for a Young Carers in Schools Award, you can do so by visiting our webpage.

If you are currently coordinating a Healthy Schools programme in your area, and would like to know more about the Young Carers in Schools programme, please get in touch.

How can I submit my application?

Applications can be submitted by email - the subject line should include your school name and the level you are applying for.

Alternatively they can be written on to a USB stick or CD – they should be labelled with you school name and posted to:

Young Carers in Schools
Unit 4 Calford House
Wessex Business Park
Wessex Way
Colden Common
SO21 1WP

However - due to the volume of the evidence required to showcase the Young Carers Standards, we are unable to accept paper applications.

Submission deadlines are at the end of each half term.

Can I apply for any level award?

We do suggest starting with the Bronze award and moving up once you are successful.

Based on learning gathered from our Early Implementation Stage we will no longer be accepting Gold award applications from schools that do not already have a Bronze or Silver award.

When will I hear about my award?

Within 7 days – we will confirm receipt of your application.

Within 4-6 weeks of the submission deadline – applications will be reviewed by two independent verifiers and an internal multi-agency panel is held to discuss each application. 

Within 2 weeks of the panel (8 weeks after the deadline), schools will be contacted with the outcome of their application. 

When will I receive my award?

Once we have informed you of the level of award achieved we will email your Young Carers in Schools certificate and your online award that can be added to your website to showcase that your school is ‘young carer aware’.

How do I upload my online award to my schools website?

The award will be emailed to you as a PNG file – this can be then be uploaded to your website as an image. There are multitudes of different website content management systems so please contact your IT or administrative support regarding your particular system. 

What do I do if I am unsuccessful?

We will endeavour to provide you with key feedback regarding your application should you be unsuccessful. This will take the form of a 'continuous development plan' outlining any missing evidence or additional information required.

You can then access the guidance and good practice examples on the Young Carers award page and access the step-by-step guidance resource to support your next application. 

There is also additional information available to support schools in identifying appropriate evidence and submitting an award through a webinar and our YCiS: evidencing the award guide.

Schools can apply for any level of the Young Carers in Schools award as many times as they like.

When and how can I submit additional evidence for my award?

If you require additional evidence to achieve an award you can submit this at any time by email or by sending a USB/CD to us.

Additional evidence is reviewed as it is submitted - for applications with multiple pieces of additional evidence however, they are taken back to the next panel to be renewed. 

Do I have to re-submit all evidence when applying for the next level of award?

No. If you have already been awarded a Bronze and wish to apply for a Silver award you only need to submit the new evidence for the Silver award.

How do I use the step by step guide?

Where you have identified a red or amber area in your Baseline Review which requires some extra support, you can access the step-by-step guide for teachers and schools staff. 

This tool is designed to be accessed by schools as needed, not to be used as a ‘cover to cover’ resource guide. The Baseline Review highlights the relevant sections that can be used to support development in each area. 

For example if your 'Standard 2 – information for pupils, staff and governors highlighting disability issues and young carers issues' is amber because you need to raise awareness with Governors, Step 3 offers information about 'Securing Commitment of School Leaders'. Within this is 'Tool 2: an exemplar introductory letter to governors about young carers'. 

This can be amended with your school's information and sent to your Governors. 

The step-by-step guide offers suggestions of tools and templates that can be used by schools, but you can also utilise local resources, good practice, and internal development within the school to evidence an award. They are designed to support schools who may not have systems in place and are not designed to replace any good work or established processes within your school.

I represent a post-16 institution - can I apply?

We welcome applications from all kinds of schools, academies, colleges and early years providers, however we recognise that provision for young carers attending some sixth forms or colleges is going to be different from that at a primary or secondary school.

Some of the answers to your questions might be found in our awards pack and YCIS: evidencing the award guide, or via Carers Trust's Student Carers in Further Education Toolkit.

If you would like some further guidance before considering whether or not you would like to submit please contact us.

How are young carers involved in the programme?

The Young Carers Standards were created by Young Carer Champions involved in the Young Carers in Focus programme.

The Champions highlighted the key factors that are important to them within schools. A prioritisation story was then placed on Makewaves, a safe social network for young carers, to allow a wider group to vote on their ‘Top Tips’ for schools.

These ‘Top Tips’ were then broken down into a Bronze, Silver and Gold level and piloted in Central Bedfordshire – to gain input from schools about the achievability of these items. The Young Carers Standards were then combined with the Step-by-Step guide to create the Young Carers in Schools Programme. The online ‘Schools Award’ to be uploaded to schools websites was also drafted and voted for by young carers at events and via Makewaves.

In additional to the programme’s development, young people from across England are regularly invited to quality assure the awarded applications, if you work with young carers who are interested in being involved please contact us. 

Our Young Carers in Schools programme aims to make it as easy as possible for schools to implement positive change for young carers, support them to attend and achieve at school and give schools recognition for their hard work.

If you have any further questions about the programme or still have unanswered questions after reviewing this page please contact our YCiS team