Statutory guidance

Education for children with health needs who cannot attend school

Statutory guidance for local authorities and departmental advice for others ensuring children with health needs receive education.

Applies to England



This is statutory guidance for local authorities.

It applies to:

  • mainstream schools
  • academies and free schools
  • independent schools
  • special schools
  • where a child is not on the roll of a school

Local authorities must follow this guidance when carrying out their duty to arrange suitable full-time education (or part-time when appropriate for the child’s needs) for children who are unable to attend a mainstream or special school because of their health. The guidance applies equally whether a child cannot attend school at all or can only attend intermittently.

This guidance is for all those supporting the educational attainment of a child with health needs, including:

  • all types of schools
  • providers of alternative provision
  • parents
  • providers of health services
Published 17 May 2013