Medical conditions in school
The Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on maintained schools and academies to make arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions.
Local Authorities also have key responsibilities in championing the needs of these children and young people, and in providing education to children and young people where they are unable to attend school due to ill health. You can read the statutory guidance on the Department for Education website.
The guidance states:
- Pupils at school with medical conditions should be properly supported so that they have full access to education, including school trips and physical education.
- Governing bodies must ensure that arrangements are in place in schools to support pupils at school with medical conditions.
- Governing bodies should ensure that school leaders consult health and social care professionals, pupils and parents to ensure that the needs of children with medical conditions are properly understood and effectively supported.
Individual Healthcare Plan
An Individual Healthcare Plan is a document produced between all parties. It lays out what the child’s medical needs are with appropriate treatments and responses. This should be easily accessible to staff and regularly updated.
Medical Needs Policies
Every education setting should have a Medical Needs policy. This gives information about what procedures are in place to support medical needs. This document should be updated regularly. For information about a specific settings Medical Needs policy please contact them directly. An audit of medical needs and policies is produced annually by the Local Authority.
Roles and Responsibilities.
The DfE has set out responsibilities for all involved in the care for a child with medical needs.
The Local Authority:
- Commission school nurses for maintained schools
- Promote co-operation between relevant partners
- Local authorities and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) must make joint commissioning arrangements for education, health and care provision for children and young people with SEN or disabilities
- Local authorities should provide support, advice and guidance, including suitable training for school staff, to ensure that the support specified within individual healthcare plans can be delivered effectively
- Local authorities should work with schools to support pupils with medical conditions to attend full-time.
- Where pupils would not receive a suitable education in a mainstream school because of their health needs, the local authority has a duty to make other arrangements.
- Must make arrangements for children who are off school for more than 15 days.
The Governing Body:
- Ensure all pupils with medical conditions are supported to enable the fullest participation possible in all aspects of school life.
- They should also ensure that any members of school staff who provide support to pupils with medical conditions are able to access information and other teaching support materials as needed.
- Ensure policy is developed and implemented
- Make sure all staff are aware of policy
- Ensure all staff know about the condition
- Ensure sufficient staff are trained
- Have overall responsibility for the health care plans
- Notify the school nurse of children
- Must provide the school with sufficient and up to date information
- May need to be the ones to tell school about the medical need.
- Should be involved in the development of the plan
- Should carry out any actions they agree (such as providing medication)
- Should be fully involved in discussions about the medical needs
- Should contribute as much as possible.
- Should comply with the care plan.
Other students should be sensitive to medical needs.
School staff :
- Any member may be asked to help with medical needs including giving medicine but they cannot be required to.
- Should receive appropriate training before taking on responsibility of meeting medical needs.
- Must be responsible for notifying the school where a child has a medical need.
- May support implementing the plan (for example training)
- Liaise with clinicians on appropriate care
- are available for advice from schools
Other Medical professionals:
- Health professionals including GPs should let the school nurses know when a child has a medical condition.
- Can provide advice on creating medical care plans
- Specialist local teams can provide support
The Health Conditions in School Alliance is an organisation made up of 30 charities to support children with Medical Conditions in schools. Take a look at their website for more information and advice.
Teacher for Physical Disability
Physical Disability Team
North Lincolnshire Council
Grange Lane North
Tel: 01724 407988
Monday to Thursday: 9am to 4.30pm
Friday: 9am to 4pm