There are minimum standards of education and support for children who can’t go to school because they’re ill or injured.

If your child can’t go to school

If your child can’t attend because of illness or injury, your school and local council will provide support to make sure their education doesn’t suffer.

The school’s role

The school should:

  • have a policy and person responsible for pupils who can’t go to school for health reasons
  • let the local council know if your child is likely to be away from school for more than 15 working days
  • give the local council information about your child’s needs and capabilities and a programme of work
  • help them reintegrate at school when they return
  • make sure they’re kept informed about school events and clubs
  • encourage them to stay in contact with other pupils (eg through visits or videos)

The local council’s role

If your child’s going to be away for a long time, the local council will make sure they get as normal an education as possible. This could include arranging:

  • home teaching
  • a hospital school or teaching service
  • a combination of home and hospital teaching

Local councils should have a senior officer in charge of the arrangements and a written policy explaining how they’ll meet their responsibilities.

The local council is also responsible for making sure your child:

  • isn’t without access to education for more than 15 working days
  • has access to education from the start of their absence if it’s clear they’re going to be away from school for long and recurring periods
  • gets an education of similar quality to that in school
  • gets their minimum entitlement of 5 hours teaching per week, as long as their health allows

Support for medical needs at school

Your child’s head teacher can tell you:

  • what medical support is available at the school
  • how to access any medication your child needs

School staff don’t have to help your child with their medication unless they’re employed to do it, like healthcare assistants. However, if they do help, they should get proper training to do so.

If your child gets sick at school

By law, schools have to provide a space for:

  • treatment of sick or injured pupils
  • first aid or medical examinations

This is usually 2 separate rooms, both with a sink and access to a toilet.

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