Q. What must we do as a school according to the new duty in the Children and Families Act to support pupils with medical conditions?

Published: Thursday, 10 July 2014

A. The Children and Families Act 2014 placed a new duty on governing bodies and proprietors and announced that schools must pay regard to guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

The guidance has now been published in its final form and should be read in detail by a member of the school’s senior management.

Schools are expected to:

  • Have a policy in place for supporting pupils with medical conditions that is reviewed regularly and is accessible to all.
  • Have a named person who has overall responsibility for policy implementation.
  • Ensure that pupils with medical conditions can access and enjoy the same opportunities as other children in the school.
  • Liaise with local health services, receive and act on advice from healthcare professionals and listen to and value the views of parents and pupils.
  • Train staff properly to provide the support needed including assessing their training needs and how providers will be identified.
  • Have individual healthcare plans, where needed, to support pupils with medical conditions.
  • Ensure that roles and responsibilities are clearly identified.
  • Identify procedures for managing medicines and keep written records.
  • Ensure that everyone is aware of what needs to be done in an emergency situation.
  • Ensure that the appropriate level of insurance is in place and reflects the level of risk.

The named person should oversee that staff are appropriately trained and that all relevant staff are made aware of a child’s condition. There should be cover arrangements in place in case of staff absence and supply teachers should be made aware.

The intention is that all children are properly supported in school to remain healthy and achieve their academic potential. A principle that we would hope schools are already applying.

Further information

Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions: Statutory guidance for governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of academies in England, February 2014 is available to download at: http://bit.ly/MedicalConditionsGuidance

This Q&A was first published in the July 2014 edition of School Inspection & Improvement magazine.

Most frequently read