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Advice to School SENDCO’s

Check out this advice if you are new to the SENDCO role or reviewing how you and your school can do the very best to support children and young people living with medical and or mental health needs.

Supporting children, young people and their families:

  •  It is important to know the latest government policy and how it applies to your school: Supporting pupils with medical conditions at school
  •  Know what student rights are in relation to medical needs:Illness and your child's education and Children with medical needs: What schools and settings need to know
  •  Get in touch with the designated community nursing team in your local authority as well as the local medical PRU and home tuition services, who may be able to offer support.
  • If the child is in hospital then develop links with the hospital school / key hospital ward staff (invite to EHC/PEP reviews as well as meetings such as CIN meetings where appropriate)
  • Know what resources are out there (e.g. assessments such as the boxhall profile and readiness to reintegrate scale)
  • Use the information on this site on returning to school and supporting siblings.
  • For students with significant learning needs you can help support their time in hospital by sending in their pupil profiles, behaviour support plans, communication books/strategies so that both hospital and hospital school staff can continue to implement these interventions and ensure that the students have familiarity in a difficult environment and the opportunity to have their voice heard.

Whole school policy and systems

  • Make staff aware of the school policy on supporting children with medical needs and how best they can support its implementation.
  • Arrange staff training on specific medical needs or procedures (community nurses offer a range of training from epi pen to PEG training).
  • Ensure school policies relating to trips/school social time ensure equal access to all pupils through reasonable adjustment and an inclusive approach.
  • Review communication systems relating to ensuring that all relevant staff fully understand the needs of the student.
  • Discuss and implement plans for allowing a student extra time (e.g. late to school due to physio/meds, time needed for the student to move between classes, extra time to organise themselves/process situations/classwork), ensure information is communicated to all who need to know. Review and update as needed.
  • Ensure school attendance policies and reward schemes don't exclude children that are absent due to chronic illness.
  • Discuss and put in place interventions that support catch-up with school work after a hospital admission.

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