Supporting Pupils with Medical Needs
This policy sets out how the school will support pupils with medical conditions. It has been written with due regard for the 2014 Department for Education document (DfE) ‘Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions’ which was issued under section 100 of the Children and Families Act 2014. This places a duty on governing bodies to make arrangements for supporting pupils at school with medical conditions.
As stated in the DfE guidance, governing bodies, ‘must ensure that arrangements are in place to support pupils with medical conditions. In doing so they should ensure that such children can access and enjoy the same opportunities at school as any other child.’
This policy will set out the procedures that are to be followed in school and the responsibilities of members of staff and governors.
The aim of this policy is to ensure that all children with medical conditions are fully supported at Mengham Junior School and that parents feel confident that the school will provide effective support for their child’s medical condition and the pupil feels safe.
- When planning to meet children’s medical needs, the school will focus on the needs of each individual child and how their medical condition impacts on their school life.
- The school will work in partnership with parents, healthcare providers and the child concerned when planning to meet an individual’s medical needs.
- Staff involved in supporting pupils with medical conditions will receive appropriate training.
- Children with medical conditions will not be denied admission or prevented from taking up a place in school because arrangements for their medical conditions have not been made.
- In line with safeguarding duties the school will ensure that the pupil’s health and the health of the school population is not put at unnecessary risk from, for example infectious diseases. The school therefore does not have to accept a child in school at times when it would be detrimental to the health of that child or others to do so. In such cases the school would seek advice from medical professionals and / or the Health and Safety Executive.
- The school will have plans in place to support children who need reintegration after a period of absence due to ill health.
Roles and Responsibilities:
The named person who has overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy is the Headteacher, Wendy Bolton.
She is responsible for ensuring that:
- sufficient staff are suitably trained,
- all relevant staff will be made aware of the child’s condition,
- cover arrangements in case of staff absence or staff turnover to ensure someone is always available,
- supply teachers are briefed,
- risk assessments for school visits and other school activities outside of the normal timetable are completed, and individual healthcare plans are created, monitored and reviewed.
- school staff are appropriately insured and are aware that they are insured to support pupils in this way.
- the school nursing service is contacted in the case of any child who has a medical condition that may require support at school, but who has not yet been brought to the attention of the school nurse.
The Governing Body - must make arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions in school, including making sure that a policy for supporting pupils with medical conditions in school is developed and implemented. They should ensure that a pupil with a medical condition is supported to enable the fullest participation possible in all aspects of school life. Governing bodies
should ensure that sufficient staff have received suitable training and are competent before they take on responsibility to support children with medical conditions. 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.
School staff - any member of school staff may be asked to provide support to pupils with medical conditions, including the administering of medicines, although they cannot be required to do so. Although administering medicines is not part of teachers’ professional duties, they should take into account the needs of pupils with medical conditions that they teach. School staff should receive sufficient and suitable training and achieve the necessary level of competency before they take
on responsibility to support children with medical conditions. Any member of school staff should know what to do and respond accordingly when they become aware that a pupil with a medical condition needs help (see Annex A).
Pupils – with medical conditions will often be best placed to provide information about how their condition affects them. They should be fully involved in discussions about their medical support needs and contribute as much as possible to the development of, and comply with, their individual healthcare plan. Other pupils will often be sensitive to the needs of those with medical conditions.
Procedure to be followed when notification is received that a new or existing pupil has a medical condition:
Individual Healthcare Plans:
It is the responsibility of the Headteacher to ensure IHCPs are written and reviewed. In most cases, the writing of the plan will be delegated to an appropriate member of staff.
Healthcare plans provide clarity about what needs to be done, when and by whom. The level of detail within the plan will depend on the complexity of the child’s condition and the degree of support needed.
They will often be essential and are helpful where a child’s medical condition is long-term and complex. However, not all children will require an IHCP. The school, healthcare professional and parent should decide whether an IHCP is appropriate. If consensus cannot be reached, the Headteacher is best placed to take a final view.
A flowchart for developing individual healthcare plans can be found in Annex A. A template for individual healthcare plans can be found in Annex B.
Staff Training and Support:
Any member of school staff providing support to a pupil with medical needs will have received suitable training.
The nature of that training and the training provider will entirely depend on the child’s needs as outlined in the IHCP. In many cases, the school will work with local healthcare providers i.e. school nurse, diabetic nurse to support staff and to ensure all staff gain the knowledge and skills required.
Due to the wide variety of medical needs, it may not be possible for staff to have received sufficient training in advance to cover all medical conditions. At the point of writing the IHCP, training needs will be identified and appropriate training organised. The relevant healthcare professional should normally lead on identifying and agreeing with the school, the type and level of training required, and how this can be obtained. Staff expertise and training requirements will be reviewed each year as the IHCP is reviewed and as part of the annual school training audit. A first-aid certificate does not constitute appropriate training in supporting children with medical conditions.
The school will endeavour to provide all staff with on-going training and updates for the most common medical conditions e.g. asthma. This will be reviewed and planned each year as part of the school improvement plan process in July / August. Staff will be briefed about any major updates through regular staff / Teaching Assistant meetings.
At the start of each year and through the induction process, all staff will be reminded of this policy and their role in implementation.
Involving Children in the Individual Healthcare Plan:
After discussion with parents, the school will aim to ensure that children become increasingly competent and independent in managing their own health needs as is appropriate. This will be captured in the annual IHCP. This could include children having access to their own medicines and administering their medicines in line with their IHCP.
Managing Medicines on School Premises:
See separate school policy.
The school has in place an emergency procedure for general emergencies (see Critical Incident Policy).
Where an IHCP exist, they should always include what constitutes an emergency and what procedures should be followed in such circumstances.
If a child needs to be taken to hospital, staff should stay with the child until the parent arrives, or accompany a child taken to hospital by ambulance.
Day Trips, Residential Visits and Sporting Activities:
As part of any trip off-site, a pre-trip checklist and risk assessment is completed. These will ensure that staff consider how a child’s medical condition will impact on their participation, but there should be enough flexibility for all children to participate according to their own abilities and with any reasonable adjustments. Schools should make arrangements for the inclusion of pupils in such activities with any adjustments as required unless evidence from a clinician such as a GP states that this is not possible.
Asthma and Asthma Inhalers:
Children can be affected be asthma to differing levels of severity. In some cases, an Individual Healthcare Plan will be required but not in all cases. Decisions will be taken on a case by case basis and in consultation with parents and relevant health professionals.
The school is able to store children’s inhalers safely. These are kept in individual wallets in the medical room for immediate access as required. Children know to access their inhalers when required. The relevant inhaler boxes are taken with children during any physical activity (PE and swimming) and are taken on all school trips.
It is the parents’ responsibility to ensure that children’s ventolin inhalers are in date.
In line with DfE guidance, the school considers that it is not generally acceptable to:
- prevent children from easily accessing their inhalers and medication and administering their medication when and where necessary;
- assume that every child with the same condition requires the same treatment;
- ignore the views of the child or their parents; or ignore medical evidence or opinion, (although this may be challenged);
- send children with medical conditions home frequently or prevent them from staying for normal school activities, including lunch, unless this is specified in their individual healthcare plans;
- if the child becomes ill, send them to the school office or medical room unaccompanied or with someone unsuitable;
- penalise children for their attendance record if their absences are related to their medical condition eg hospital appointments;
- prevent pupils from drinking, eating or taking toilet or other breaks whenever they need to in order to manage their medical condition effectively;
- require parents, or otherwise make them feel obliged, to attend school to administer medication or provide medical support to their child, including with toileting issues. No parent should have to give up working because the school is failing to support their child’s medical needs; or
- prevent children from participating, or create unnecessary barriers to children participating in any aspect of school life, including school trips, e.g. by requiring parents to accompany the child.