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Illness and your child’s education

Academies, maintained schools and pupil referral units should support children with medical conditions.

You can ask to see the school’s policy on supporting pupils with medical conditions.

Support for medical needs at school

Your child’s head teacher can tell you:

  • what medical support is available at the school
  • how to access any medication your child needs

School staff don’t have to help your child with their medication unless they’re employed to do it, like healthcare assistants. However, if they do help, they should get proper training to do so.

For further information please see the Department for Education policy on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions

If your child gets sick at school

By law, schools have to provide a space for:

  • treatment of sick or injured pupils
  • first aid or medical examinations

This is usually two separate rooms, both with a sink and access to a toilet.

If your child can’t go to school

If your child can’t attend because of illness or injury, your school and local council will provide support to make sure their education doesn’t suffer. There are minimum standards of education and support for children who can’t go to school because they are ill or injured.

The school’s role

The school should:

  • have a policy and person responsible for pupils who can’t go to school for health reasons
  • let the local council know if your child is likely to be away from school for more than 15 working days
  • give the local council information about your child’s needs and capabilities and a programme of work
  • help them reintegrate your child back into school when they return
  • make sure your child is kept informed about school events and clubs
  • encourage your child to stay in contact with other pupils (e.g. through visits)

The local council’s role

If your child is going to be away from school for a long time, the local council will make sure they get as normal an education as possible and teaching will be provided based on your child’s health needs.

Local councils should have a senior officer in charge of the arrangements and a written policy explaining how they will meet their responsibilities.

The local council is also responsible for making sure your child:

  • isn’t without access to education for more than 15 working days
  • has access to education from the start of their absence if it is clear they are going to be away from school for long and recurring periods
  • gets an education of similar quality to that in school
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