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Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions Policy

Date Accepted by Governors: Autumn 2020

Review date: Autumn 2023

 

Introduction

The staff and governors of Ash Grange are wholly committed to pursuing a policy of inclusive education that welcomes and supports pupils with medical conditions. The governing body will ensure that children with medical needs, in terms of both physical and mental health, are properly supported in school so that they can play a full and active role in school life, remain healthy and achieve their academic potential.

 

Mental Health and Wellbeing

The school has an established culture that promotes and enhances the positive mental health of the whole school community, recognising that healthy relationships underpin positive mental health and have a significant impact on learning, health and wellbeing. We champion the expectation that ‘mental health is the individual’s responsibility supported by the whole school community.’

 

Aims

  • Pupils at school with medical conditions will be properly supported so that they can access and enjoy the same opportunities at school as any other child
  • School leaders will consult health and social care professionals, pupils and parents to ensure that the needs of children with medical conditions are effectively supported.
  • Parents are confident that the school will provide effective support, addressing changing needs over time
  • Social and emotional implications will be dealt with sensitively
  • Impact of absence, both short and long term, will be managed effectively and appropriate support put in place to limit the impact on the child’s educational attainment and emotional and general well-being
  • Children who return to school after long-term absence will be fully supported
  • Where children with disabilities are considered disabled under the Equality Act 2010, the governing body will comply with its duties under that Act
  • For children with SEN, this policy should be read in conjunction with the DfE SEND Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (July 2014)

 

Roles and Responsibilities

 

The Governing Body

  • Must make arrangements to support children with medical conditions in school, including ensuring that a policy for supporting such pupils is developed and implemented

 

The Headteacher

The headteacher has overall responsibility for ensuring the effective development and implementation of this policy including:

  • Ensuring all staff are aware of the policy and understand their role in its implementation
  • A commitment that all relevant staff will be made aware of a child’s condition
  • Ensuring sufficient staff have received suitable training and are competent before they take on the responsibility to support children with medical needs and deliver individual healthcare plans, including in contingency and emergency situations
  • Making over arrangements in case of staff absence or staff turnover to ensure someone is always available
  • Briefing for supply teachers
  • Risk assessments for school visits, holidays, and other school activities outside of the normal timetable
  • Development and monitoring of individual healthcare plans
  • Ensuring school staff are appropriately insured
  • Effective working with partners

 

School Staff

  • Any member of school staff may be asked to provide support to pupils with medical conditions, including the administering of medicines. Full training will be given before this responsibility can be taken on
  • All staff will know what to do and respond accordingly when they become aware that a pupil with a medical condition needs help
  • Class teachers will take into account the needs of pupils with medical conditions that they teach

 

School Nursing Services

  • Are responsible for notifying a school when a child has been identified as having a medical condition which will require support in school
  • May support staff in implementing an individual healthcare plan
  • Provide advice and facilitate liaison with other professional services

 

Other Health Care Professionals

  • Are responsible for notifying the school nurse when a child has been identified as having a medical condition which will require support in school
  • Provide support and advice

 

Pupils

  • Pupils with medical conditions are often best placed to provide information about how their condition affects them. They should be fully involved in discussions about their medical needs
  • Pupils without medical conditions will be sensitive to the needs of those who have them

 

Parents

  • Parents are responsible for providing the school with sufficient up-to-date information about their child’s medical needs
  • Parents are key partners and should be involved in the development and review of their child’s individual healthcare plan
  • They should carry out actions identified and agreed in the plan

 

Local Authority

  • Has a duty to promote cooperation between relevant partners
  • Should provide support, guidance and training for staff
  • Work with schools to support pupils

 

Health Service Providers

  • Should cooperate with schools supporting children with a medical condition
  • Provide support, information, guidance and advice to schools

 

Managing Medical Needs

 

Procedure to be followed when Notification that a Child has a Medical Condition is Received

  • For children starting at a new school, arrangements should be in place in time for the start of the relevant school term
  • In other cases, eg a new diagnosis or children moving to a new school mid-term, every effort should be made to ensure that arrangements are put in place within two weeks
  • Ash Grange staff will liaise with staff at the old school to ensure a smooth transition between schools
  • Any existing healthcare plan will be reviewed to ensure appropriate arrangements are in place

 

Staff Training and Support

  • Any member of staff providing support to a child with medical needs will receive suitable training, which will have been identified during the development and review of the individual healthcare plan
  • Staff providing support to children will be included in meetings where this is discussed
  • Staff will not give prescriptive medicines or undertake healthcare procedures without appropriate training
  • Written records will be kept of all medicine administered
  • If a child refuses to take medicine or allow a procedure to be carried out, staff should not force them to do so. Staff should follow procedures agreed in the plan. Parents should be informed
  • Healthcare professionals can confirm the proficiency of staff in a medical procedure
  • Regular whole school awareness training will take place during INSET and as part of induction procedures. Staff will be aware of what practice is unacceptable.

 

Unacceptable Practice

It is not acceptable practice 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, eg by requiring parents to accompany the child.

 

The Child’s Role

  • After discussion with parents, children who are competent will be encouraged to take responsibility to manage their own health needs and medicines; this will be reflected in the healthcare plan
  • If a child refuses to take medicine or carry out a procedure, they should not be forced to do so. Staff should follow procedure agreed in the plan. Parents should be informed so that alternative options can be considered

 

Managing Medicines on the School Premises

Children should only attend preschool/school when they are well enough to do so. Staff are not allowed to administer medicines to children, except in an emergency or part of routine care of a medically diagnosed child. 

 

Procedures

If a child needs to take routine medication, parents must complete a “Parental agreement for school/setting to administer medicine” form, which details all of the information required.  The medicine must remain in its original container with full instructions on how to administer; the child will then be supervised by a member of staff as they take the medicine.  Anything outside of this is at the Headteacher’s discretion.   If a child has a medical condition and is too young to self-administer, staff will be trained by a medical practitioner, to undertake the giving of the medicine. 

 

Emergency Procedures

  • The individual healthcare plan will clearly define what constitutes an emergency and explain what to do, including ensuring that all relevant staff are aware of emergency symptoms and procedures
  • If a child needs to go to hospital, staff should stay with the child until the parent arrives or accompany the child in the ambulance.
  • All other staff and pupils will be aware what to do in general terms through regular awareness training and initiatives

 

Day Trips, Residential Visits and Sporting Activities

  • Children with medical conditions will be actively supported to enable them to participate in school trips and visits
  • Arrangements for the inclusion of pupils in these activities will be made, making adjustments as required, unless evidence from a GP states that it is not possible
  • Teachers should be aware of how a child’s condition will impact on their participation.
  • Appropriate risk assessments will be carried out in all cases

 

Liability and Indemnity

  • The governing body is responsible for ensuring that appropriate insurance is in place
  • School insurance policies provide liability cover relating to the administration of medicines
  • Individual cover will be arranged where necessary and according to the needs set out in the Individual Health Plan

 

Complaints

  • Should parents or pupils be dissatisfied with the support provided they should discuss the concerns directly with the school
  • If this does not resolve the issue, a formal complaint can be made following the procedure set out in the school’s Complaints Policy.

 

Individual Healthcare Plans

Some medical conditions that require support will affect quality of life and may be life-threatening. The focus of the healthcare plan will be on the needs of the child and how their medical condition impacts on their school life and their ability to learn. Healthcare plans will aim to increase a child’s confidence and promote self-care wherever possible.

  • A staff member will be responsible for drawing up individual healthcare plans alongside healthcare professionals, parents and the child (where appropriate)
  • Plans will be developed with the best interests of the child in mind. Staff must ensure that risks to the child’s education, health and social wellbeing have been assessed and arrangements to manage them, with minimum disruption, are set out
  • The plans will be accessible to those who need to refer to them while preserving confidentiality
  • Plans will be reviewed at least annually, or earlier if there is evidence that the child’s needs have changed
  • The following information should be recorded on individual healthcare plans:
    • the medical condition, its triggers, signs, symptoms and treatments;
    • the pupil’s resulting needs, including medication (dose, side effects and storage) and other treatments, time, facilities, equipment, testing, access to food and drink where this is used to manage their condition, dietary requirements and environmental issues eg crowded corridors, travel time between lessons;
    • specific support for the pupil’s educational, social and emotional needs – for example, how absences will be managed, requirements for extra time to complete exams, use of rest periods or additional support in catching up with lessons, counselling sessions;
    • the level of support needed (some children will be able to take responsibility for their own health needs) including in emergencies. If a child is self-managing their medication, this should be clearly stated with appropriate arrangements for monitoring;
    • who will provide this support, their training needs, expectations of their role and confirmation of proficiency to provide support for the child’s medical condition from a healthcare professional; and cover arrangements for when they are unavailable;
    • who in the school needs to be aware of the child’s condition and the support required;
    • arrangements for written permission from parents and the headteacher for medication to be administered by a member of staff, or self-administered by the pupil during school hours;
    • separate arrangements or procedures required for school trips or other school activities outside of the normal school timetable that will ensure the child can participate, e.g. risk assessments;
    • where confidentiality issues are raised by the parent/child, the designated individuals to be entrusted with information about the child’s condition; and
    • what to do in an emergency, including whom to contact, and contingency arrangements. Some children may have an emergency healthcare plan prepared by their lead clinician that could be used to inform development of their individual healthcare plan.
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