Every school will wish to support their children as best they can through a period of illness. 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. It is therefore vital that a student is kept in connection with their peers and their learning throughout a period of illness.
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, and also ensure that the child’s 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.
There are clear government guidelines and templates on supporting pupils with medical conditions provided on the DfE website:
There are also a range of organisations and websites who we would highly recommend as offering clear guidance on supporting pupils with medical needs. These include:
For information on how to ensure continuity of education for children who are too unwell to attend school as defined by their medical consultant please see:
‘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.’
‘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.’
‘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.’