Supporting Pupils With Medical Conditions

Definition

Pupils’ medical needs may be broadly summarised as being of two types:

(a) Short-term affecting their participation in school activities while they are on a course of medication.

(b) Long-term potentially limiting their access to education and requiring extra care and support

Rationale

LAs and schools have a responsibility for the health and safety of pupils in their care. The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 makes employers responsible for the health and safety of employees and anyone else on the premises. In the case of pupils with special medical needs, the responsibility of the employer is to make sure that safety measures cover the needs of all pupils at the school. This may mean making special arrangements for particular pupils who may be more at risk than their classmates. Individual procedures may be required. The employer is responsible for making sure that relevant staff know about and are, if necessary, trained to provide any additional support these pupils may need.

The Children and Families Act 2014, from September 2014, places a duty on schools to make arrangements for children with medical conditions. Pupils with special medical needs have the same right of admission to school as other children and cannot be refused admission or excluded from school on medical grounds alone. However, teachers and other school staff in charge of pupils have a common law duty to act in loco parentis and may need to take swift action in an emergency. This duty also extends to teachers leading activities taking place off the school site. This could extend to a need to administer medicine. The prime responsibility for a child’s health lies with the parent who is responsible for the child’s medication and should supply the school with information. The school encourages self- administration of medication when possible, and with parental consent.

Aims

The school aims to:

  • assist parents in providing medical care for their children;
  • educate staff and children in respect of special medical needs;
  • adopt and implement the LA policy of Medication in Schools;
  • arrange training for volunteer staff to support individual pupils;
  • liaise as necessary with medical services in support of the individual pupil;
  • ensure access to full education wherever possible.
  • monitor and keep appropriate records.

Entitlement

The school accepts that pupils with medical needs should be assisted if at all possible and that they have a right to the full education available to other pupils. 
The school believes that pupils with medical needs should be enabled to have full attendance and receive necessary proper care and support. 
The school accepts all employees have rights in relation to supporting pupils with medical needs as follows:

  • choose whether or not they are prepared to be involved;
  • receive appropriate training;
  • work to clear guidelines;
  • have concerns about legal liability;
  • bring to the attention of management any concern or matter relating to supporting pupils with medical needs.

Expectations

It is expected that:

parents will be encouraged to co-operate in training children to self-administer medication if this is practical and that members of staff will only be asked to be involved if there is no alternative.

Where parents have asked the school to administer the medication for their child they must bring the medicine in a clearly labeled container with medicine spoon if required. The prescription and dosage regime should be typed or printed clearly on the outside. The school will only administer medicines in which the dosage is required during school hours. School staff will not accept any medications not presented properly. This should be brought into school by the parent.

Employees will consider carefully their response to requests to assist with the giving of medication or supervision of self-medication and they will consider each request separately.

The school will liaise with the School Health Service for advice about a pupil’s special medical needs, and will seek support from the relevant practitioners where necessary and in the interests of the pupil.

Any medicines brought into school by the staff e.g. headache tablets; inhalers for personal use, should be stored in an appropriate place and kept out of the reach of the pupils. Any staff medicine is the responsibility of the individual concerned and not the school.

It is the responsibility of the Head teacher to:

  • ensure all relevant parties receive adequate training
  • ensure that there are sufficient staff suitably trained and willing to administer medicines.
  • ensure cover arrangements are in place
  • ensure Health Care Plans are kept up to date.