6. Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions
As a SENCO you need to know who leads in school for supporting medical conditions. This will not necessarily be the SENCO as it is not listed within SENCO roles and responsibilities.
New statutory guidance came into effect in September 2014 and was updated in 2017. The responsibility for supporting pupils with medical conditions lies with school governors. The new document replaces previous Local Authority documentation (2007, 2013).
‘Some children with medical conditions may be considered to be disabled under the definition set out in the Equality Act 2010. Where this is the case governing bodies must comply with their duties under that Act. Some may also have special educational needs (SEN) and may have a statement, or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan which brings together health and social care needs, as well as their special educational provision. For children with SEN, this guidance should be read in conjunction with the Special educational needs and disability (SEND) code of practice4 The Special educational needs and disability code of practice explains the duties of local authorities, health bodies, schools and colleges to provide for those with special educational needs under part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014. For pupils who have medical conditions that require EHC plans, compliance with the SEND code of practice will ensure compliance with this guidance with respect to those children’. (Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions 2017)
The SENCO is not necessarily responsible for supporting pupils with medical conditions but they may contribute and support when medical needs impact on education. Some pupils may have Individual Healthcare Plans (IHP). These are not to be confused with an EHC plan.
Support, guidance and training for universal medical conditions (such as epilepsy, diabetes, asthma and allergies) can be provided by Sandra Davison, Vulnerable Learners Manager and Safeguarding Lead for Schools
Sandra can be contacted on 0191 277 4465 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
School Nursing Service provides a named nurse for each school and there are 3 locality clinics across the city. School nurses will support family health and safeguarding. They will offer advice and deliver national programmes (such as National Child Measurement Programme and Immunisation Programme) and will advise schools in managing medical needs and liaise with parents if needed. They do not write Individual Health Plans. This is a home-school responsibility.
Community Paediatric Nursing team will offer support and advice on specific medical conditions for pupils identified within their care.
Paediatric Nurse Specialists in the Great North Children’s Hospital will support common medical conditions in school such as asthma, diabetes, allergy and epilepsy in schools, where they have patients in the school.