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Education for children with medical needs

Find out when you can contact the Leicestershire Inclusion service team and when a school should provide work if your child is not well enough to attend school.

Most children with medical needs continue to successfully access education with the appropriate support in place.  Schools are able to adapt and access support where required for children to continue to attend through the use of support aids, reduced or adapted timetables or obtaining additional support from wider agencies.

Schools and educational setting will always follow the advice given within the supporting pupils at school with medical conditions statutory guidance when support children with medical needs in schools.

Part-time education and timetables

In line with the Department of Education, school attendance guidance 2019, all pupils of compulsory school age are entitled to a full-time education. 

Schools are permitted to provide less than a full-time education only in very exceptional circumstances, for example, where a medical condition prevents a pupil from attending full-time education and a part-time timetable is considered as part of a re-integration package. This shouldn't be treated as a long-term plan and an end-date, when the child will return to school, must be specified.

If a pupil has a serious medical condition, where recovery is the priority outcome, these arrangements would be part of a medical plan, agreed between the school and health professionals.

Support for children with medical needs

There are a range of services and resources that offer support and information to children, families and schools. Services may provide help with a range of issues such as health, education and funding. Please see the following links if you require further support: 

Physical and medical needs

Support for children with physical and medical needs in early years to include healthcare training from the Diana Service, other support agencies and transition to school.

Help for children with medical conditions

Applying for help with a child's medical condition page outlines the responsibility of schools and the available support to ensure children get most from education.

Specialist Teaching Service

The Specialist teaching service provides free support and advice for schools and families about specific areas of SEND including support with hearing, vision, learning, autism and assistive technology for education.

Inclusion Forums

The Inclusion forums offer support for schools to enable all children and young people to engage effectively in education and training, including support from Oakfield short stay school, Leicestershire secondary education and inclusion partnerships and other agencies attending the forums.

Inclusion Service

The Inclusion service offers support to all children and young people, enabling them to access a good educational environment and supports transition back in to learning. 

NHS Continuing Healthcare

Accessing NHS continuing healthcare offers support with long term healthcare, provided by the clinical commissioning group in west and east Leicestershire and Leicester city, and information about personal health budgets to meet the health needs of the person receiving them.

Continuing care framework

Children and young people's continuing care national framework provides guidance for the clinical commissioning groups, young people, parents and anyone working for NHS, outlining the process of assessing, deciding and agreeing continuing care for children with complex health needs.

SEND information advice and support service (SENDIASS)

SENDIASS provides free, impartial and confidential support to parents and carers of young people aged 0-25 and advises on all matters relating to SEND such as education, health and social care issues. 

Education, health and care plan (EHCP)

Get help with your child's progress if your child is having difficulty at nursery, school or college, or has a disability. Ask for an assessment for an EHCP or advice from SENCO or SENDIASS.

If your child is too unwell to attend school

If your child is too ill to attend school, you must notify the school on the first day of their absence or in advance of a planned absence e.g. medial appointment or operation. The school will then notify the Inclusion Service team if the absence is likely to be 15 days or more.

You may be asked to provide supporting evidence from health professionals by the school and they may make contact with the key health professionals, with your permission, that support your child to identify the best way to engage your child in education and re-integration back into school.

If your child can’t go to school because of their medical needs the school will make contact with the Inclusion service to seek advice. We will support the school to co-ordinate the necessary arrangements in order for your child to continue to receive an education whilst they are too ill to attend school. The options that may be available could include:

  • School providing work at home
  • Accessing education at the hospital if they are in patient, or

We may arrange education outside school this may include:

  • home tuition
  • access to a hospital school
  • a ‘virtual’ school or
  • any combination depending on the needs of your child.

Where education is provided outside of school, your family will have access to an education officer who will help keep you informed of the education offer, help co-ordinate the education and reviews with the school/health/other agencies and enable support for your child to re-integrate back into school.

There is no charge to parents for receiving this support as it falls within the statutory entitlement of your child’s education.

The statutory guidance for children with medical needs outlines the responsibilities of schools, local authorities and parents and the legal duty of working together to support children with medical conditions at school, ensuring they remain healthy and achieve their academic potential.   

Team around school (TAS) meetings

TAS meetings will be arranged with school, family, inclusion, health, social care, education effectiveness partners and other relevant professionals involved with your child. The aim of these meetings are to explore how your child can be successfully supported to engage with education, and jointly prepare an education and reintegration plan to allow the child to reach their educational potential.  They will also support the review of your child's progress. 

Going back to school

Your child will get help to go back to school when they are ready. We will work with you and your child’s school to plan their return and make sure they get all the help they need.  At this point you may have additional workers that support you such as the school's pastoral team, support workers within the inclusion service or from other agencies. 

Information for schools

Recoupment policy

This policy explains the local authority’s reasons and processes for the recoupment of costs from schools for children who, by reason of illness, are unable to attend school and who are supported by the Authority to receive education through an alternative provider.

This policy is applied from 1 January 2019 for all new and existing referrals and contracts held by the council.

Recoupment policy for children with medical needs  Opens new window

Medical needs policy

Many children have medical conditions that significantly affect their school life. Some children and young people miss a lot of school through illness.

Children with medical needs policy  Opens new window

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