Equality and diversity for schools

Including children with medical needs

In September 2014 a new duty came into force for governing bodies to ensure arrangements are in place in school to support pupils with medical conditions. The guidance includes statutory and non-statutory advice under the Children and Families Act 2014. The statutory guidance applies to all maintained schools, academies and free schools.

For children with SEND, this guidance should be read in conjunction with the new SEND Code of Practice. The guidance document reiterates existing good practice and clarifies accountability. Children and young people with medical conditions are entitled to a full education and have the same rights of admission to school as other children. This means that no child with a medical condition should be denied admission or prevented from taking up a place in school because arrangements for their medical condition have not been made. The governing body must ensure that arrangements are in place to ensure that such children can access and enjoy the same opportunities at school as any other child.

Governing bodies should ensure schools develop a policy for supporting pupils with medical conditions that are reviewed regularly and is readily accessible to parents and school staff. This policy may be a separate policy or may be a sub-section included in the school’s existing SEN & Disability policy. Although there is no requirement on teaching staff to administer medicines or undertake personal and health care procedures, governing bodies are required to ensure there are arrangements in place, including ensuring sufficient members of support staff are appropriately trained to undertake these roles as part of their core job description.

Schools will find the following web resource helpful, which includes model policies: The medical conditions at school website.