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Title: Young carers and education
Author: Beaumont, Meredith Alexandra Hanne
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2013
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Informed by the sociology of childhood, children's rights and the work of John Dewey, this mixed methods study used an exploratory sequential design to analyse the relationship between caring and education. Semi-structured interviews and an online survey involved young carers and a control group from across England and Wales. Qualitative data were analysed thematically and quantitative data were subject to statistical testing. Demographic, familial, and school factors were included in tests for association. Variations in levels of care provided, care recipient and types of care were also incorporated. An email survey of schools and local authorities provided an assessment of existing policies or strategies with specific regard to meeting the educational needs of young carers. Findings revealed several new contributions to knowledge. There was a reduced likelihood for young carers to report that their parents attended parents' evenings or be involved in schools in other manners, such as in the Parent Teacher Association. This was reported to arise from the inaccessibility of schools for a parent with a disability or health condition. Young carers were as likely to believe education is important for their future, although they were more likely to aspire to pursue a 'caring profession' beyond education. Those caring for a parent/guardian with a mental health issue, substance misuse problem, learning difficulty or comorbidity, experience a higher rate of detrimental emotional outcomes. Furthermore, those with the most negative adaptation to caring were also those least able to do most school work without assistance. Potential young carers with high caring levels were discovered within the control group sample. Data show for the first time that these young people had predominantly sibling, domestic or household tasks rather than personal, emotional and financial/practical responsibilities, which young carers do. However, both of these groups report more specific and negative experiences and outcomes in school than children with no caring role. General and specific policy suggestions are made particularly for addressing the lack of young carers' policies and practice at the school level. Improved teacher training, focus on identification and targeted interventions are discussed, to address the needs of young carers educationally.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available