Applying for the award doesn't have to be complicated - we've created step by step instructions to help you successfully submit your application

Young carer and his little sister

The Young Carers in Schools award consists of five separate standards

1. UNDERSTAND - There are assigned members of staff with responsibility for understanding and addressing young carers needs
2. INFORM - Awareness is raised by sharing knowledge about disability, illness and young carers throughout the school
3. IDENTIFY - Young carers are being identified within your school
4. LISTEN - They are listened to, consulted with and given time and space to talk
5. SUPPORT - Young carers are supported within the school, and signposted to whole family resources and services outside the school.

To gain an award, we ask schools to evidence how they are meeting these five standards, and provide evidence up to the level they hope to achieve (eg to achieve silver, evidence should be submitted for bronze and silver for each standard).

We have provided a step by step guide to applying for an award: 

Supporting you  

There are key resources that can help you in applying for an award:

  • Award Pack: a full guide to support schools to implement and evidence a Young Carers in Schools award. Contains a step by step guide to the process and a comprehensive checklist of required evidence.
  • Award Checklist: an editable checklist to keep track of evidence gathered and to submit alongside your application. 
  • A guide to evidencing the Bronze Award: breaks down the essential evidence required to achieve the Bronze Award using examples drawn from successful applications and provides 'top tips' for presenting the evidence.
  • A guide to evidencing the Silver Award: breaks down the essential evidence required to achieve the Silver Award using examples drawn from successful applications and provides 'top tips' for presenting your evidence.
  • Our recorded webinar: Award applications talks through the awards process and highlights some key considerations to ensure success.

Many schools already have effective practice in place to support young carers, however a suite of practical tools designed to make it as easy as possible for schools to meet these standards and identify and support young carers effectively, are provided in Supporting young carers in schools: A step-by-step guide for leaders, teachers and non-teaching staff  - throughout the awards guidance, links to the relevant resources are provided.

Step one

Download and complete the Baseline Review.

Completing a Baseline Review is an easy way to reflect on the current practice within your school. It also provides a way for you to create an action plan for ongoing work, and keep a record of how your provision is developing. 

The Baseline Review allows you to highlight which areas of your school's young carer provision is 'Green: Already in place'; 'Amber: Partially in place/Some work needed'; or 'Red: Not yet in place'. (A RAG review).

You can also send your completed Baseline Review to our YCiS team. This will: 

  • Act as a 'place holder' and let us know to expect your application.
  • Allow us to collect baseline data so that we can assess the positive impacts of the programme.

Step two

Utilise the tools available to develop your provision.

Where you have identified a red or amber area, which requires some extra support, you can access a range of tools, including: 

  • 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. It also contains suggestions of tools and templates that can be used by schools
  • A range of webinars exploring support provision and unpicking the awards criteria
  • Find out about upcoming events and professional development opportunities, and any new resources or tools by signing up to the e-newsletter
  • Local young carer services may be able to support you with local engagement and development.

Step three

Utilise the award checklist to gather your evidence.

The award checklist details all the essential and desirable evidence that is required to achieve a Young Carers in Schools award, in a ‘checklist’ format that allows you to keep track of the evidence that you have gathered and links to support.

Step four

Apply for your award!

Even if you are confident in your provision for young carers, we ask that all schools begin by applying for Bronze - this will make the process easier if you wish to work your way up the levels.

Before submitting your evidence please remember to:

  • Complete the front coversheet of the award checklist to ensure we have up to date and correct contact details for the school and lead
  • Include the award checklist with an application, with all the check boxes completed for the evidence submitted
  • Mark each piece of evidence with the standard and level that it relates to (e.g. when submitting a picture of the pupil noticeboard name it ‘S2, Bronze: Pupil Noticeboard’)
  • Complete the ‘tools survey’ at the back of the checklist; this enables us to collect data on the tools and resources available
  • Be aware of data protection guidelines and ensure that young people’s confidentiality is protected at all times. 

Applications are only accepted in electronic formats.

You can email your application and evidence to our YCiS team - please make sure to include the school name and level of application in the subject heading.

Alternatively, you can load applications on a CD/USB stick and post them to:

Young Carers in Schools 
The Children’s Society, Unit 4, Calford House
Wessex Business Park
Wessex Way
Colden Common
SO21 1WP

If you wish us to return your USB/CD, please provide a stamped addressed envelope in which to do so.

It is also important that you file and reference your evidence in a clear way. We recommend having a separate folder for each standard, and then clearly labelling each piece of evidence.

Deadlines for submission are the last day of every term and half term

Step five

Reviewing applications and feedback:

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 deadline) – schools will be contacted with the outcome of their application.

We also regularly host young carer panels at which a selection of applications are presented to be 'quality assured' by the young people themselves.

All schools will receive a 'Continuous Development Plan' that summaries the feedback from verifiers and contains the panel’s decision.

If you have been successful, we will send you your electronic certificate and logo for you to display in school, and on your website. We will also upload your school onto our interactive map of successful schools

If you have been unsuccessful, your 'Continuous Development Plan' will contain some suggestion for additional evidence required to gain an award. If you have been unsuccessful this does not mean that you do not have provision in place for young carers, only that the evidence was either missing, or did not meet our quality threshold (e.g. photos provided were too blurry to identify content on noticeboards).

You can submit additional evidence at any point, and contact us if you require any support in providing evidence.

We do not have a limit on the number of times a school can reapply for any level of the award

If you have further questions you can visit the FAQ page or contact us.