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NAHT hails new medical needs guidance for schools as a big step forward for inclusion but raises concerns on implementation

 School leaders’ union NAHT acknowledges the inclusive principles underpinning guidance published today relating to supporting pupils with medical needs in school.

Parents of children with medical needs often have concerns over their children’s wellbeing at school although the majority of school leaders already have effective practices in place to support such pupils. The guidance document will provide a useful checklist for evaluating current practice. This will help reassure parents and carers whose children have medical needs that all reasonable steps are in place to ensure that there is no detriment to their child’s education.

This guidance clearly defines the roles of leaders, staff and governors. NAHT has concerns however that this is yet another significant change for school leaders to implement by September 2014.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT, said: “We foresee three main logistical issues with the guidance, the foremost being the time scale of implementation in the context of the raft of other changes schools are obliged to implement.

“Staff will need to be trained to cope with particular conditions and heads will now need to ensure that the required individual pupil healthcare plans for those children with medical needs are in place. The second concern is that school leaders may be faced with a situation where none of their staff volunteer for the extra medical responsibility when it comes to invasive administration of medicines.

“The guidance relies heavily on governors writing policies and on free access to the school nursing service: however, feedback from our members suggests that there are regional variations in availability of support from the school nursing service.

“One piece of excellent news announced today which we support is the government's assistance in helping schools purchase defibrillators. These devices can save the lives of both pupils and staff. Modern defibrillators are easy to use and very safe."


Link to the DfE announcement:: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/306952/Statutory_guidance_on_supporting_pupils_at_school_with_medical_conditions.pdf

Page Published: 30/04/2014

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