Guidance for schools supporting children with medical conditions in school

Every school will wish to support their children as best they can through a period of illness. For most children with medical and mental health conditions, attendance to school is key to recovery, and to their continued physical and mental wellbeing. Children with medical and mental health conditions should be supported to be in school for as much time as they are able.

To do this a team around the child should be formed. This team should include the class teacher/pastoral teacher, the school nurse, the SENCo and or the medical needs officer in school, a lead clinician,with the family and the child at the centre. Great care should be taken in listening to the voice of the child and in ascertaining accurate medical information. An effective team can create a workable, flexible Individual Health Care Plan for the child that should support attendance and offset unnecessary absence.

Research has shown that a child’s education can be severely impacted by a prolonged absence from school and the subsequent social isolation this can incur. If a child is to be absent during illness it is vital that a student is kept in connection with their peers and their learning throughout a period of illness. If a child is to be out of school for more than 15 days a referral to the WHHTS home tuition service for medical needs should be considered.

A child’s illness pre and post diagnosis can be a period of considerable strain for both the family and the young person. A school’s supportive approach during this time will ease the strain considerably. It also ensures that the child’s or young person attends school wherever possible and that reintegration back to school is as smooth as possible.

This supportive approach requires the school to:

  • Be informed – read the information from the DfE signposted below, our presentation and the NASEN guide. Ensure that medical information is ascertained and understood.
  • Be clear and communicative – assign a key member of staff who can liaise with the family through this time.
  • Be flexible – utilise government guidance on reasonable adjustments, the use of IHCP’s and part-time timetables as appropriate.

 

Resources

This is a recommended website for both families and schools in supporting children with medical needs in school:

http://www.medicalconditionsatschool.org.uk/

For further organisations supporting children with medical conditions:

‘Every day my son looks forward to going to school – to get away from his room, and all the poking and prodding from doctors is such a relief. He is treated like a school boy, rather than a patient, and I think this has as much healing properties as medicine! Due to his illness, my son has missed about a month of schooling, but hopefully will have caught up because of the hospital school.’

(Parent, 2018)

‘Wow, where to begin. I wanted to write to you to demonstrate how much of a positive impact you have had on me……you have restored my faith in teachers everywhere...the CAMHS Campus School was definitely the highlight of Springfield for me as is the case for so many others. Rest assured if I ever get involved in the murky world of politics your funding will be quadrupled, ring-fenced and seared forever.’
‘We are so grateful and thankful for the brilliant staff at the St. George’s Hospital School. We have spent quite a lot of time there over the past 18 months, they have made learning such fun – memorable science experiments and story writing, the best time making posters and adverts and treats for the school cafe. The staff are cheerful, calm, gentle and above all fun. Thank you to the great team.’
‘We were so grateful to the teaching team. They have been absolutely fantastic. My daughter had surgery on Monday and was quiet and withdrawn. This has been instrumental in her recovery and also kept her mind on education whilst she’s been sick.’
‘Everyday my son looks forward to going to school – to get away from his room, and all the poking and prodding from doctors is such a relief. He is treated like a school boy, rather than a patient, and I think this has as much healing properties as medicine! Due to his illness, my son has missed about a month of schooling, but hopefully will have caught up because of the hospital school.’
‘We are so grateful and happy for the care and support – teachers are so helpful and very kind, we love you all for your hard work, keep it up. Thanks so much.’
‘Thank you for the range of learning opportunities you provided my son in hospital for the week for the week he was on the neuro ward. He found the activities very engaging and accessible. He thoroughly enjoys maths and looked forward to the activities you provided for this – he is especially looking forward to the spreadsheet analysis this afternoon. he enjoys music and was surprised to have the opportunity to learn about and play different instruments. Thanks again for all your help.’
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‘We are so grateful that there is a school/classroom to attend. Josie really needs something to focus on when he’s in hospital, he looks forward to getting out of his room and working/studying English, Maths and other interesting topics he can learn about. It has really made a difference to his mood during the hospital stays, having been admitted so many times throughout the past 7 months. Furthermore, it helps him keep on top of his schooling.’
‘Thank you for helping me for the past 10 months. You have helped me to keep as motivated and hopeful for my future as I could have been. I cant wit to start college and maybe become a paramedic. I’ll always remember this school and everyone in it’
‘The service aims to enable pupils with long-term illnesses, mental health issues or who are pregnant to remain in education…... You and your staff ensure that these aims are fully met. Most pupils have missed long periods of learning due to illness. They make remarkable progress during their short time in the school.
Pupils told us that, without the school, they would not be able to engage fully in learning or sit any examinations. Parents value the high-quality teaching provided alongside the excellent care and support given to each individual pupil.’

Ofsted, 2018

Education at HHTS

Student Wellbeing

Staff Wellbeing

Making a Referral

Keeping Yourself Safe

We offer personalised support to our pupils in their choices for the next stage of education, employment, and self-employment or training. We ensure that all of our long-term pupils receive careers guidance.

As well as a careers focus to each of the subjects taught, we also host a dedicated Careers Week in March. 

We are already implementing the Gatsby Benchmarks - a framework of 8 guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges.

As well as working alongside the multi-disciplinary teams on the wards to help support next steps in education/employment for our pupils, we work closely with schools and colleges to ensure the best pathway forwards.

Our Careers Lead is Lynda Robinson and she can be contacted at admin@hhts.wandsworth.sch.uk

Unifrog is an online platform that supports schools and colleges to deliver their statutory duty to provide students with impartial and independent guidance on the full range of Post-16 and Post-18 options.

Unifrog is the only place where students can compare every undergraduate course in the UK as well as international opportunities. Additionally, Unifrog provides students with access to the most comprehensive list of live apprenticeships available across the country including Higher, SLP and degree apprenticeships, as well as FE courses.

Once students have explored their interests and compared the full range of pathways available to them, Unifrog provides one place for students to draft all materials needed for applications such as CVs and Personal Statements.

All students, across all year groups, now have access to the platform in keeping with our commitment to provide students with outstanding careers guidance and tailored support when choosing their next step.

Information for parents and carers

Every parent/carer can have their own login to Unifrog, where they can access the tools, information, and guidance to support their child to make their best next step. Download our parent and carers letter for information on how to log in to unifrog as a parent/ career

If you would like more information on Unifrog please visit their website:

www.unifrog.org