School / College

Being a young carer may mean that you have problems at school or college. You might recognise some of the following yourself. These have been identified by other young carers as some of the problems  they experience:

  • Not having enought time to do homework
  • Not being able to concentrate in lessons
  • Having to turn off a mobile phone during lesson, and worring in case someone needs to contact you
  • Needing to get home for lunchtime to help get lunch ready or feed someone
  • Having detentions after school which you're not able to go to
  • Being angry or behaving negatively which gets you into trouble
  • Being bullied
  • Arriving late for school or needing to go early
  • Missing school as you're needed at home

If these are things you recognise, speak to a teacher about what the school can do to help you.

  • Talking to an adult at school

    You can talk to your teacher, classroom assistant or school nurse about your family situation. They can be really supportive and help you out a lot. Sometimes the situation at home may affect your school life - being late or absent if you have to help out at home, not being able to get your homework done or just being upset making it hard to concentrate.

    Teachers can't help if you don't tell them! If you want to explain to your classmates about being a young carer you could ask your teacher if you can talk about it within class during PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education).

  • Being bullied

    Some young people get bullied because their family is seen as 'different' - for example if you have to stay in to help look after someone or if your family can't afford the things that your friends have. If you are being bullied it is not your fault. Take practical steps to try and avoid the bullies - such as avoiding the places they hang out at break times. Try not to give them a reaction and pretend that it doesn't bother you. But most importantly you must tell an adult that it is happening. This can be scary but it will help things get better.

    For more information or advice take a look at or check out the what Childline says about bullying. You can call ChildLine at any time on 0800 1111 to speak to a counsellor. Calls are free and confidential. You can also chat to a Childline councellor online too.

  • Being a bully

    You have the choice to bully others or not to. Sometimes you might feel that the only way to vent anger and frustration is to take it out on somebody else. If you feel like this, talk to someone about your concerns and how you feel - a friend, a relative, a teacher or a school nurse, maybe. Everyone needs to get things off their chest at times, but taking it out on someone else at school or in the family can just make things more difficult for everyone.

    It can be hard if everyone else is doing it and you would feel left out if you don't join in. It takes courage to step back from bullying. Bullying causes lots of misery for people, more than you might see.

    If you would like to speak to a counsellor for more help and advice,you can call ChildLine at any time on 0800 1111, they won't judge you and you can talk to them about anything. Calls are free and confidential. You can also chat to a Childline councellor online too.






    Information from MS Society

  • Further Eduction

    You might have more options than you think when it comes to getting education or training after leaving school. Some college courses don't require GCSEs (or Standard Grades or Highers in Scotland). You might not have to leave home to go to university if you don't want to.

    See out section on the future for more info...

  • Keep up with work

    You might not want your school to know you're caring for someone. But if they don't know about your situation, it will be difficult for teachers to understand if you struggle to keep up in class or don't do your homework. It's a good idea to let at least one teacher know you're a carer.

    You might find it difficult to talk about your home life with a teacher, so
    you could ask a parent to write a letter to the school, perhaps to the head of
    year. Some young carers find it easier to talk about the situation if they keep
    a diary or a list of all the jobs and tasks they have to do.

    When you're caring for a parent, brother or sister, it can be difficult to
    balance your caring responsibilities with school and homework. At secondary
    school, homework is a really important part of learning.

    If you're having trouble with school or homework, your teachers may

    • extra time for school work when the person you care for is ill,
    • help for your parents to travel to parents' evenings if they have trouble leaving the house,
    • to talk to you privately about your home life
    • homework clubs.










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  • Missing School

    You may feel you have to miss school to care for someone who is ill. But
    missing school can affect your whole future. It's important you get help as
    quickly as possible so the situation doesn't go on for a long time.

    The family doctor (GP), social worker, nurse or other people who help the person you look after should be able to organise more support at home to help you concentrate on school or college.

    If you miss a lot of school, an education welfare officer may contact you.
    They will try to find out what is causing you to miss school and how to get you back to school. It's really worth talking openly and honestly to them. Their role is to help you.If the school has tried to help you with your attendance and it hasn't  worked, they may give your parents a Parenting Order. This sets out what the school wants parents to do to make sure you go to school. It's important the school knows the situation so that it can help.















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