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South Australian support agencies estimate there are more than 14,800 young people under the age of 18 who are required to take on caring roles for members of their family. This figure equates to 2 or 3 students in every classroom.

Many young carers emphasise that their caring role is a positive experience. However, research clearly indicates that, where a young carer
is inadequately supported, the physical and mental strain that caring places on their health, wellbeing, and education outcomes is immense.

While many of life’s domains can be affected by caring responsibilities, children and young people invariably told the Commissioner about their experiences at school, describing it as either a sanctuary or source of major distress.

The vision for education in Australia as set out in the Alice Springs Declaration is to encourage and support every student to thrive, develop
and have the social, emotional and cognitive skills to succeed.

The focus of this report is to highlight the ways in which schools are falling short on this vision for children and young people with caring responsibilities. Practical strategies to improve education outcomes and wellbeing for young carers, and the perspectives of students, teachers and support agencies,
are also be presented.