Young carers suffer a substantial negative impact on their academic achievement arising from their time spent caring for others.
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- Almost 40% of LSAC 14-15 year olds spent some time caring for a person in their family or community who is elderly or has a health condition or disability.
- At least one in ten 14-15 year-olds were caring for a household member, with around two-thirds of this group providing assistance with core activities including personal care, mobility and communication.
- The majority of 14-15 year olds who spent time providing care were helping someone who lived outside the family home. This help commonly involved assisting a classmate or helping out with chores when they visit their grandparents.
- While many of those providing care to someone living elsewhere did so on a weekly or monthly basis, more than half of those caring for a resident family member were providing daily care, with 22% spending more than two hours per day on these care activities.
What effects are caring responsibilities having on these young people?
- On average, young carers have lower performance levels in reading and numeracy than their non-caring peers.
- The young carers most affected were those giving intensive care - those who provided daily care, particularly those who spent at least two hours per day, were more than a year behind their classmates in reading and numeracy.
- Young carers are more likely to live in disadvantaged households.
- Their lower educational attainment could have long-term effects on their future employment opportunities and life chances.
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