A PRIMARY school in Runcorn has been recognised for helping young carers keep on track with their education.

Victoria Road primary school has been given a bronze Young Carers in Schools award which aims to improve outcomes for young carers across the country.

Emma Roberts, head teacher, said: "We are extremely proud of our young carers at Victoria Road primary school.

"We acknowledge the work they undertake both in school and at home."

Young carers are responsible for the emotional, practical or physical care for a parent, sibling or other family member who has a physical disability, mental health issue or substance misuse issue.

There are approximately 700,000 young carers in England, equivalent to one in 12 school children, many of whom are unrecognised and unsupported.

Research carried out by Carers Trust and The Children's Society shows that, on average, young carers miss or cut short 48 school days a year and often have lower levels of self-confidence, mental wellbeing and significantly lower educational attainment at GCSE level, because of their caring role.

Speaking about Victoria Road primary school, the Young Carers in Schools programme said: “To achieve their bronze award Victoria Road primary school has demonstrated that it supports young carers in many ways, including homework clubs and drop-in sessions with a member of staff who is responsible for this vulnerable group of pupils.

"Vital information about how to identify young carers is made available to all school staff, and noticeboards and the school webpage let students and their families know where to go for help."

Helen Leadbitter, national young carers lead at The Children’s Society, is delighted that the Young Carers in Schools programme is bringing about national change.

She said: "Hundreds of schools across England are participating in the Young Carers in Schools programme, using the tools and resources to improve their support systems, and ensuring that no child need miss out on educational opportunities because they are a carer.

"About 74 per cent of schools who have achieved a Young Carers in Schools award have noticed improved attendance among their young carers, and 94 per cent have noticed improvements in their wellbeing and confidence."

The programme is open to all schools in England and to sign up schools just need to visit the website.