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Some pupils will have medical conditions that require support so that they can attend school regularly and take part in school activities. Schools and their employers should have policies on managing pupils' medicines and on supporting pupils with medical needs.
Some children may be unable to attend school because of their medical condition and where this happens there should be arrangements in place to ensure the continuation of their education.
It is for schools and their employers to develop their policies on the management and administration of pupils' medicines and putting in place systems for supporting individual pupils with medical needs.
The document Managing medicines in schools and early-years settings (DfES/Department of Health, 2005) provides advice for schools and their employers to help in the development of such policies. It explains the roles and responsibilities of employers, parents and carers, governing body, headteachers, teachers and other staff of local health services. It considers staffing-issues including employment of staff, insurance and training. Other issues covered include drawing up a health-care plan for a pupil, confidentiality, record keeping, the storage, access and disposal of medicines, home to school transport, and on-site and off-site activities. It also provides general information on the four most common conditions – asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and anaphylaxis. The document also contains a set of forms which can be photocopied by users.
Note: This document replaces the DfEE/DH 1996 document Supporting Pupils with medical needs: A good practice guide and Circular 14/96 Supporting pupils with medical needs in school.
Medical Conditions at School: A Policy Resource Pack has been compiled by the Medical Conditions at School Group to compliment the Department guidance Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings. Information and resources have also been produced individually by the following voluntary organisations:
The Anaphylaxis Campaign website contains Guidance for schools, which discusses anaphylaxis, treatment, setting up a protocol, and support for pupils and staff. It also includes a sample protocol. The Anaphylaxis Campaign helpline is 01252 542029. The Anaphylaxis Campaign has also published the 'Allergy in schools' website which has specific advice for pre-schools, schools, school caterers, parents, students and nurses.
Asthma UK has downloadable school policy guidelines that provide information on asthma, asthma in PE and sports, and what to do when a child with asthma joins the class. It provides comprehensive information on how to develop a school asthma policy and asthma register, with an example. Also available are school asthma cards and information and posters for young people to encourage them to be active with their asthma. To order copies of these resources call 0800 121 6255. To answer any questions about asthma call the Asthma UK Adviceline on 0800 121 6244 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm) or use the online form to email your query to the experts.
Diabetes UK has information on diabetes in school, which discusses insulin injections, diet, snacks, hypoglycaemia reaction and how to treat it. It contains a downloadable version of their school pack, Children with diabetes at school – What all staff need to know. Copies of this can also be ordered from Diabetes UK Distribution, telephone 0800 585088. Further information is available from Diabetes UK care line, telephone 0845 120 2960 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm) or see the Diabetes UK website for an enquiry form.
Epilepsy Action (British Epilepsy Association) has specific information for education professionals on its website. This looks at classroom first aid, emergency care, medication and school activities. Further information is available from the freephone helpline on 0808 800 5050 (Monday to Thursday, 9.00am to 4.30pm, Friday 9.00am to 4.00pm) or use the email enquiry form.
The National Society for Epilepsy (NSE) has information on education and epilepsy which looks at epilepsy and learning, special needs, examinations, practical activities, medication, the Disability Discrimination Act, and teaching pupils with epilepsy. Contact the UK Epilepsy helpline, telephone 01494 601400 (Monday to Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm).
Epilepsy Scotland has a freephone confidential epilepsy helpline (0808 800 2200) and leaflets on Guidelines for teachers and A Parents Guide to Epilepsy. It also provides epilepsy training.
The National Eczema Society has produced an activity pack, available on our website, to encourage discussion about eczema in the classroom. The pack follows a lesson plan format and ties in with the National Curriculum, and is tailored according to age group.
A leaflet has been produced which is aimed at those with specific responsibility for supporting young people with medical conditions at schools, including teachers given this lead responsibility, headteachers and others responsible for pastoral care, school nurses and school governors. It addresses two inherited conditions, sickle cell disorders and beta-thalassaemia major. It was produced following a four-year research project on young people with sickle cell disorders in schools funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.
The Sickle Cell Society has downloadable leaflets for education staff covering school work, sports, school journeys, and medical emergencies. It has a guide on incorporating teaching about sickle cell into the national curriculum. Their website has a specific section for young people living with SCD. The society has access to a panel of medical advisors for further advice. Telephone: 020 8961 7795 or use the on-line contact form.
The UK Thalassaemia Society has a downloadable leaflet for schools covering awareness of thalassaemia as a medical condition and advice for teachers of PE, Science and PHSE/Citizenship. It has a leaflet on careers advice and several educational videos that can be ordered free of charge (Telephone: 020 882 0011).
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This document sets out a framework within which local authorities, local health trusts, schools and Early Years settings can work together to ensure that children requiring medicines receive appropriate support.
Asthma UK is a charity dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the 5.2 million people in the UK whose lives are affected by asthma.
Advice from Diabetes UK for teenagers starting, or going back to, school or college after being diagnosed with diabetes. Includes sections on telling teachers, participating in after school activities and bullying.