Young Carers

Whole School Commitment

My Online Schooling is committed to developing provision for young carers so that they can attend school, enjoy their learning and fully participate in all areas of school life.

We will capture the commitment by widening our provision, building on the needs of the young people and better meet young carers’ needs by reviewing My Online Schooling’s provision for young carers, 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 and achieve their potential. 
  • The school has a designated Young Carers’ School Lead with responsibility for young carers and their families. Pupils and families will be made aware of the identity of this lead and how to contact them 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.

What is a young carer?

A young carer is a child under 18 who regularly helps to look after a family member or friend who is disabled, ill, has a mental health challenge or addiction challenge.

Young carers may engage in:

  • Practical tasks (cooking, housework and shopping)
  • Physical care (lifting or helping someone use the stairs)
  • Personal care (dressing, washing, helping with toilet needs)
  • Managing the family budget
  • Managing medication
  • Looking after younger siblings
  • Helping someone communicate
Pupil studying outside

Support for Young Carers
at My Online Schooling

At My Online Schooling, we are aware that some of our pupils may be young carers. We know that young carers may need a little extra support to enjoy and do well at school. At My Online Schooling, we are committed to ensuring that all pupils who are young carers are identified, and supported.

We run a weekly peer support group for young carers to come along to socialise, play games and get to know each other. Pupils are also welcome to share their experiences as young carers, if they would like to.

A weekly group to allow a dedicated time and space for young carers to complete ILA and receive support with this if needed.

We offer weekly drop in sessions for pupils to come along for support, advice, or just a friendly chat.

Young Carers Lead

Vanessa Baker is our Head of Wellbeing and Young Carers Lead. As My Online Schooling’s Young Carers Lead, Vanessa strives to ensure that all young carers are supported to enjoy school and make good progress.

Untitled design – 2020-11-26T091117.566

Vanessa Baker

Head of Wellbeing

As Head of Wellbeing at My Online Schooling, I am here to oversee and support our pupils’ mental health and wellbeing. I work with parents and teachers to ensure children are getting the support that they need to access the curriculum.

In 2018, I graduated from Edinburgh Napier University with a degree in Psychology. This gave me a deeper understanding of child development and mental health. While studying, I worked with Lothian Autistic Society as a support worker. In this role I helped children build up their independence by working closely with them to set and achieve goals which would help develop key life skills.

After graduating, I worked in a primary school supporting children with a variety of additional support needs. These needs included autism, ADHD, social emotional difficulties and physical disabilities. I provided individualised support to help children access the curriculum, develop social skills and tools for emotional regulation. This experience helped me to further my knowledge of additional needs and mental health in young people.

Outside of work, I enjoy going for walks with our border collie puppy, Bailey! At the weekend, I love meeting up with family and friends to go for walks or out for lunch.