Young Carers

Dunmow St Mary’s Primary School is committed to developing provision for young carers and their families.

We will capture the commitment by widening our provision, building on the needs of the young people and better meet young carers’ needs by highlighting young carers at Dunmow St Mary’s Primary School with a view to ultimately achieving best practice.

How we will achieve this:

  • The whole school is committed to meeting the needs of young carers so that they can attend and enjoy school in the same way as other pupils/students and achieve their potential.
  • Mrs Ockelford (known to everyone in the school as “Mrs O”) is our Young Carers’ School Lead with responsibility for young carers and their families. Pupils and families will be made aware of how to contact our lead and how to access support.
  • The school only shares information with professionals and agencies on a need to know basis in order to support pupils and their families.
  • Dunmow St Mary’s primary School will actively seek feedback and ideas from young carers and their families to shape and improve support.
  • The school has an effective referral system and strong partnership in place with relevant external agencies, including referral to Essex Young Carers providing key workers who will work with young carers and families.

We will strive to achieve best practice for students and families in our school in order to provide them with the best chance of success in their future.


A Young Carer can be as young as 5 and may support with a range of roles within the home where either a parent, sibling or other family member living in the family home has an illness, disability or other specific medical or mental health need.

How they support at home

They may support with cooking and cleaning, giving medication or accompanying the person they care for to their medical appointments. They may also help look after siblings or provide emotional support and worry about the person they care for when they are away from them.

The potential effects of being a Young Carer

The effects of being a Young Carer can vary, many children feel sad, angry, guilty or embarrassed about the help they provide at home. They may feel upset that friends don’t have the same responsibilities or feel that no one understands their role and feelings. Avoiding telling anyone about their feelings can have a huge impact on their own well-being and therefore their learning in school.

How we can support Young Carers in school

Once identified and referred to Essex Young Carers, children will have the option every Wednesday lunchtime to use a drop in service with Mrs O.

All the children know how to access her and this is a safe place to chat about how they are feeling. This might be 1:1 sessions or group support with other Young Carers. Children can find Mrs O whenever they need support and she will regularly check in with them to make sure they are OK.
Alternatively, Mrs O can help you to get in touch with Essex Young Carers.

This organisation can offer further help and guidance to you and your Young Carer through a range of personalised support.
This may include help at home if needed or Young Carer clubs and events where your child can spend valuable time with others in a similar role while enjoying some time just for them.


Young Carer Lead Young Carer SLT Link

Mrs Sam Ockelford
Safeguarding and Family Support

Mrs Clare Charter
Head Teacher

Useful links

Click on the links for further information and support for young carers and their families.

Essex County Council website
Action for Family Carers
Carers Trust  – has information and advice for young carers