Supporting Pupils with Medical Conditions

Principles

To ensure that students with medical conditions are properly supported to allow them to access the same educations as other students, including school trips and sporting activities.

Purpose

This policy aims to ensure that students, staff and parents understand how the college will support students with medical conditions.

Process

The governing board will implement this policy by:

  • Making sure sufficient staff are suitably trained
  • Making staff aware of a student’s condition, where appropriate
  • Making sure there are cover arrangements to ensure someone is always available to support students with medical conditions
  • Developing and monitoring individual healthcare plans (IHPs)

The named person with responsibility for implementing this policy is Mrs Kate Diveney (Assistant Head teacher and SENCO).

Legislation and statutory responsibilities

This policy meets the requirements under Section 100 of the Children and Families Act 2014, which places a duty on governing boards to make arrangements for supporting students at their school with medical conditions.

It is also based on the Department for Education’s statutory guidance: Supporting students at school with medical conditions.

1. Roles and responsibilities

1.1 The governing body

The governing body has ultimate responsibility to make arrangements to support students with medical conditions. The governing board will ensure that sufficient staff have received suitable training and are competent before they are responsible for supporting children with medical conditions.

1.2 The headteacher

The headteacher will:

  • Make sure all staff are aware of this policy and understand their role in its implementation.
  • Ensure that there is a sufficient number of trained staff available to implement this policy and deliver against all individual healthcare plans (IHPs), including in contingency and emergency situations.
  • Take overall responsibility for the development of IHPs.
  • Make sure that college staff are appropriately insured and aware that they are insured to support students in this way.
  • Contact the school nursing service in the case of any student who has a medical condition that may require support at college, but who has not yet been brought to the attention of the school nurse.
  • Ensure that systems are in place for obtaining information about a students’ medical needs and that this information is kept up to date.

1.3 Staff

Supporting students with medical conditions during school hours is not the sole responsibility of one person. Those staff who take on the responsibility to support students with medical conditions will receive sufficient and suitable training, and will achieve the necessary level of competency before doing so.

Teachers will take into account the needs of students with medical conditions that they teach. All staff will know what to do and respond accordingly when they become aware that a student with a medical condition needs help.

1.4 Parents

Parents will:

  • Provide the college with sufficient and up-to-date information about their child’s medical needs
  • Be involved in the development and review of their child’s IHP and may be involved in its drafting
  • Carry out any action they have agreed to as part of the implementation of the IHP e.g. provide medicines and equipment

1.5 Students

Students with medical conditions will often be best placed to provide information about how their condition affects them. Students should be fully involved in discussions about their medical support needs and contribute as much as possible to the development of their IHPs. They are also expected to comply with their IHPs.

1.6 School nurses and other healthcare professionals

Our school nursing service will notify the school when a student has been identified as having a medical condition that will require support in school. This will be before the student starts at the college, wherever possible.

Healthcare professionals, such as GPs and paediatricians, will liaise with the school nurses and notify them of any students identified as having a medical condition.

2. Equal opportunities

The college is clear about the need to actively support students with medical conditions, to participate in school trips and visits, or in sporting activities, and not prevent them from doing so.

The college will consider what reasonable adjustments need to be made to enable these students to participate fully and safely on trips, visits and sporting activities.

Risk assessments will be carried out so that planning arrangements take account of any steps needed to ensure that students with medical conditions are included. In doing so, students, their parents and any relevant healthcare professionals will be consulted.

3. Being notified that a child has a medical condition

When the college is notified that a student has a medical condition, the process outlined below will be followed to decide whether the student requires an IHP.

The college will make every effort to ensure that arrangements are put into place within 2 weeks, or by the beginning of the relevant term for students who are new to the college.

4. Individual healthcare plans (IHPs)

The headteacher has overall responsibility for the development of IHPs for students with medical conditions. This has been delegated to Mrs Kate Diveney (Assistant Headteacher and SENCO).

Plans will be reviewed at least annually or earlier if there is evidence that the student’s needs have changed.

Plans will be developed with the student’s best interests in mind and will set out:

  • What needs to be done
  • When
  • By whom

Not all students with a medical condition will require an IHP. It will be agreed with a healthcare professional and the parents when an IHP would be inappropriate or disproportionate. This will be based on evidence. If there is not a consensus, the headteacher will make the final decision.

Plans will be drawn up in partnership with the college, parents and a relevant healthcare professional, such as the school nurse, specialist or paediatrician, who can best advise on the student’s specific needs. The student will be involved wherever appropriate.

IHPs will be linked to, or become part of any Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. If a student has SEND but does not have a statement or EHC plan, the SEND will be mentioned in the IHP.

The level of detail in the plan will depend on the complexity of the child’s condition and how much support is needed. The following will be considered when deciding what information to record on the IHP:

  • The medical condition, its triggers, signs, symptoms and treatments
  • The student’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, e.g. crowded corridors, travel time between lessons
  • Specific support for the student’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, including in emergencies. If a student is self-managing their medication, this will 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 student’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 student’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 student during college hours
  • Separate arrangements or procedures required for trips or other activities outside of the normal college timetable that will ensure the student can participate, e.g. risk assessments
  • Where confidentiality issues are raised by the parent/student, the designated individuals to be entrusted with information about the student’s condition
  • What to do in an emergency, including who to contact, and contingency arrangements

5. Managing medicines

Prescription and non-prescription medicines will only be administered at college:

  • When it would be detrimental to the student’s health or college attendance not to do so and
  • Where we have parents’ written consent

Students under 16 will not be given medicine-containing aspirin unless prescribed by a doctor.

Anyone giving a student any medication (for example, for pain relief) will first check maximum dosages and when the previous dosage was taken. Parents will always be informed.

The school will only accept prescribed medicines that are:

  • In-date
  • Labelled
  • Provided in the original container, as dispensed by the pharmacist, and include instructions for administration, dosage and storage

All medicines will be stored safely. Students will be informed about where their medicines are at all times and be able to access them immediately. Medicines and devices such as asthma inhalers, blood glucose testing meters and adrenaline pens will always be readily available to students.

Medicines will be returned to parents to arrange for safe disposal when no longer required.

6. Controlled drugs

Controlled drugs are prescription medicines that are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 and subsequent amendments, such as morphine or methadone. All controlled drugs will be kept in a secure cupboard and only named and trained staff will have access.

Controlled drugs will be easily accessible in an emergency and a record of any doses used and the amount held will be kept.

7. Students managing their own needs

Students who are competent will be encouraged to take responsibility for managing their own medicines and procedures. This will be discussed with parents and it will be reflected in their IHPs. Staff will not force a student to take a medicine or carry out a necessary procedure if they refuse, but will follow the procedure agreed in the IHP and inform parents so that an alternative option can be considered, if necessary.

8. Unacceptable practice

College staff should use their discretion and judge each case individually with reference to the student’s IHP, but it is generally not acceptable to:

  • Prevent students from easily accessing their inhalers and medication, and administering their medication when and where necessary
  • Assume that every student with the same condition requires the same treatment
  • Ignore the views of the student or their parents
  • Ignore medical evidence or opinion (although this may be challenged)
  • Send children with medical conditions home frequently for reasons associated with their medical condition or prevent them from staying for normal college activities, including lunch, unless this is specified in their IHPs
  • If the student becomes ill, send them to the college office or medical room unaccompanied or with someone unsuitable
  • Penalise students for their attendance record if their absences are related to their medical condition, e.g. hospital appointments
  • Prevent students 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 college to administer medication or provide medical support to their student, including with toileting issues. No parent should have to give up working because the college is failing to support their child’s medical needs
  • Prevent students from participating, or create unnecessary barriers to students participating in any aspect of college life, including school trips, e.g. by requiring parents to accompany their child
  • Administer, or ask students to administer, medicine in school toilets

9. Emergency procedures

Staff will follow the college’s normal emergency procedures (for example, calling 999). All student’ IHPs will clearly set out what constitutes an emergency and will explain what to do.

If a student needs to be taken to hospital, staff will stay with the student until the parent arrives, or accompany the student to hospital by ambulance.

10. Training

Staff who are responsible for supporting students with medical needs will receive suitable and sufficient training to do so.

The training will be identified during the development or review of IHPs. Staff who provide support to students with medical conditions will be included in meetings where this is discussed.

The relevant healthcare professionals will lead on identifying the type and level of training required and will agree this with Mrs Kate Diveney. Training will be kept up to date.

Training will:

  • Be sufficient to ensure that staff are competent and have confidence in their ability to support the students
  • Fulfil the requirements in the IHPs
  • Help staff to have an understanding of the specific medical conditions they are being asked to deal with, their implications and preventative measures

Healthcare professionals will provide confirmation of the proficiency of staff in a medical procedure, or in providing medication.

All staff will receive training so that they are aware of this policy and understand their role in implementing it, for example, with preventative and emergency measures so they can recognise and act quickly when a problem occurs. This will be provided for new staff during their induction.

11. Record keeping

The governing board will ensure that written records are kept of all medicine administered to students. Parents will be informed if their child has been unwell at school.

IHPs are kept in a readily accessible place, which all staff are aware of.

12. Liability and indemnity

The governing body will ensure that the appropriate level of insurance is in place and appropriately reflects the school’s level of risk.

The details of the school’s insurance policy are available by contacting the college Director of Support Services.

13. Complaints

Parents with a complaint about their child’s medical condition should discuss these directly with Mrs Kate Diveney in the first instance. If the initial complaint cannot be resolved, parents will be directed they to the college’s complaints procedure.

14. Monitoring arrangements

This policy will be reviewed and approved by the governing board every two years.

15. Links to other policies

This policy links to the following policies

  • Complaints
  • Accessibility Plan
  • Safeguarding
  • Special educational needs information report and policy