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Professional Resources

Pupils With Health Needs

Schools work hard to make the best provision they can for students with specific medical needs. This is not always easy.

Children with an additional health need have a legal entitlement to fully access the whole curriculum (see 2015 Statutory Guidance). This should mean classroom based education alongside, educational visits, social and extra curricular opportunities are available wherever possible to these pupils.

Governing bodies must ensure that arrangements are in place in schools to support pupils with medical conditions. This may require liaison with appropriate health and social care professionals to ensure the child / young persons specific medical or health needs are catered for. When additional health requirements - physical and / or mental are properly supported in school pupils can play a full and active role in school life, and reach their potential.

Working in partnership with the child and their family is essential to create a suitable, supportive and safe environment for pupils with medical needs. Whatever the condition each child is individual and plans should be tailored to their particular needs. Management of some of the more common conditions is explained in more detail below.

Schools should all have a policy for managing medical conditions and medicines in school. It needs to be clear for all staff, parents / carers and children.

Read about guidance on writing a policy

Dive Deeper

Training For Education Staff

We recommend that for some specific conditions appropriate training is accessed from the specialist organisations. Taking advantage of these training packages means the school can access the training when they require it, knowing it is being provided by experts so the information will be current and credible.

Training links

Epilepsy 

Asthma

Diabetes

Anaphylaxis

Writing a Health Care Plan

An individual health care plan helps schools to identify the necessary safety measures required to support pupils with medical needs and ensure others are not put at risk. Plans can also help identify training needs for staff.

A health care plan is a written agreement between school and the parents / carers which clarifies the child’s / young person’s needs in school.

Top Tips

    • If the child/young person is under the care of specialist health professional then information should be sought from them to contribute to the care plan. They are the prescribers of the care.
    • Parents may already have documented evidence of the care required which can be referred to during the meeting.
    • A care plan template should be used to document daily care needs and emergency situations. Suggested templates are available in the general information section or are available from specialist websites.
    • Care Plans should be displayed in school where staff can see them and readily available to staff working with the child/young person (NB ensure confidential information is not visible to the public).
    • Care Plans should be reviewed each year.

 Administration of Medicines

Many prescribed medicines will not need to be taken during the school day. It may be necessary to support their administration to prevent unnecessary absence from school.

If it is agreed for medication to be given in school the following care should be taken.

    • Complete the necessary ‘Agreement to Administer’ paperwork
    • Check the medicine is in date, is labelled, in the original packaging and has instructions for the dose, administration and storage. (Insulin may come in a preloaded pen).
    • Parents are responsible for ensuring medicines left in school are in date (although it is good practice for school staff to keep a check on what is stored there)
    • Medicines for emergency use should NOT be locked away. In Primary schools these might be kept in an office. In High Schools consideration should be given to pupils carrying their own medications.
    • Agreed documentation should be completed when medication is given.

Educational Visits

Children and Young people with additional medical heath needs should not be excluded from trips. For some children more planning may be required.

This might include;

    • Taking time to discuss the forthcoming trip with child / young person and their family.
    • Taking a copy of the health care plan. If the trip involves an overnight stay additional care needs may need to be written into the plan.
    • Ensure staff going on the visit complete any necessary specific training.
    • Ensure any medication is readily available throughout the trip.
    • If medications need to be kept chilled use a cool bag.

How We Can Help?

Health Care Plans

The Norfolk Healthy Child Programme (HCP) does not write individual health care plans. However, sometimes cases may be very complex or school may not feel the care they are being asked to provide is reasonable. In these cases our service can be contacted for advice, or to request they support a meeting between schools and parents / carers.

We can signpost you to the appropriate health professionals involved in the child / young person’s care as appropriate. Contact Just One Number on 0300 300 0123.

Attendance Concerns

Some pupils have attendance concerns where medical / health reasons are cited as the cause. In this instance a referral can be made to our team; this has been agreed with Norfolk County Council. A health practitioner from the team will arrange to contact the child / young person and their family as appropriate to undertake a health assessment. We will develop a baseline understanding of their needs and develop an action plan. 

The joint protocol between health services and schools for managing absence is available to view.

To further inform our assessment we can access information from other health professionals with the pupil and / or parent’s consent. Our service will provide any interventions that meet our criteria. We will strongly encourage children and families to share the outcome of this assessment with school. However it cannot be shared without consent from the pupil and / or family.

Referrals should be made to us at Just One Number on 0300 300 0123.

Resources

Templates are available for care planning.

Guidance on Infection control and recommended absences in school and other childcare settings is available.

Asthma

Anaphylaxis

Diabetes

Epilepsy

Educational Picture Book

This covers the use of an injector pen (commonly known as an EpiPen). The book entitled ‘Me and My Injector Pen’ by Suki Bhachu is aimed at parents who have small children with food allergies.
Like many children, Kymani is allergic to certain types of food. Join him, his best friend Nevaeh and Pip, his superhero injector pen, on a journey to the hospital.
Together they explore the allergic reactions that are caused by the eight most common food allergies, and how Pip’s magic medicine can help. 

Information about supporting pupils at school with medical conditions

E-Learning

'All Our Health' offer free, bite-sized e-learning sessions - to improve the knowledge, confidence and skills of health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing. The sessions cover some of the biggest issues in public health including;

  • Childhood obesity 
  • Pollution
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

They contain signposting to trusted sources of helpful evidence, guidance and support to help professionals embed prevention in their everyday practice.

How Can Norfolk & Waveney Children & Young People's Health Services Help?

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