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Supporting Children with Medical
and Mental Health Needs at School


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Steve Lowe from the Oxfordshire Hospital School explains their new self-evaluation tool developed by the Medical Needs in Schools project. MniS is a collaboration between Oxfordshire Hospital School and Children’s Psychological Medicine – Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.  Read more...

The driver behind the project is a recognition that children with medical conditions are at higher risk of educational, social, and psychological difficulties and poor inter-agency working is often cited as a factor in contributing to sub-optimal support for this group of children. Its core aim is to support high quality inter-agency working through joining up education and health services. The project will provide support and training for schools across Oxfordshire in managing medical needs within the education environment, in compliance with statutory and best practice guidance.

The life of the Medical Needs Inreach Project (MNIP) has been extended and is continuing to grow in many directions – working with more schools, creating shared resources, providing more training for teachers and clinicians and developing on-going relationships with other partners. We are now calling ourselves Medical Needs in Schools (MniS) to distinguish ourselves from other “Inreach Projects” locally and to avoid confusion! We are continuing to work with our colleagues from Children’s Psychological Medicine and this remains an incredibly valuable resource to us.

A new direction for MNiS is the creation of a self-evaluation tool that can be used by schools to see where they are in relation to providing for children with medical needs. The tool is still in development, but the thought is that the self-evaluation will be best completed as a collaborative and supportive peer-review process between colleagues from the MNiS project and schools themselves. The self-evaluation standards we are including reflect statutory DfE guidance and have been carefully considered following feedback from home schools - mainstream and special, primary and secondary. They have also been agreed between Oxfordshire Hospital School and the Paediatric Psychology Network, part of the British Psychological Society, as being the custom and best practice by which schools should work to support pupils with medical conditions.

Self-evaluation is intended to assist schools to improve their own practice, whatever stage of development they are at, and to effect long term cultural change within their settings. We will be launching the self-evaluation tool at our second annual Inclusion and Integration Conference for Children with Medical Conditions in School. This year the conference will be held at Unipart House on the 6th of November 2019. Info and bookings here.




Identification Self-Evaluation School Visit  Reporting Follow up

Either through a school-based request or through direct discussions with the school following referrals, a school is identified.



The school completes a self-evaluation of current provision.




MNIS representatives visit the school to discuss the self-evaluation and review the school’s evidence used to complete the task.



Alongside the school, the MNIS colleagues complete a written report including agreed recommendations and actions.



The school may agree to follow up visits, support, and training.





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HOPE (Hospital Organisation of Pedagogues in Europe)