The Trinity Handbook
This policy applies to all staff, governors and visitors to the school. It is set within the context of The Trinity Catholic School’s mission statement and aims of the school:
The staff at Trinity Catholic School is committed to providing pupils with high quality opportunities for learning whatever their health need, disability or individual circumstances. We believe that all pupils should have access to as many opportunities for learning as their particular medical condition allows whether they are attending school or going through periods of treatment and recuperation. We promote inclusion and will make all reasonable adjustments to ensure that children and young people with a disability, health need or SEN are not discriminated against or treated less favourably than other pupils.
This policy and any ensuing procedures and practice are based on the following principles.
- All children and young people are entitled to a high quality education;
- Disruption to the education of children with health needs should be minimised;
- If children can be in school they should be in school. Children’s diverse personal, social and educational needs are most often best met in school. Our school will make reasonable adjustments where necessary to enable all children to attend school;
- Effective partnership working and collaboration between schools, families, education services, health services and all agencies involved with a child or young person are essential to achieving the best outcomes for the child;
- Children with health needs often have additional social and emotional needs. Attending to these additional needs is an integral element in the care and support that the child requires; and that
- Children and young people with health needs are treated as individuals, and are offered the level and type of support that is most appropriate for their circumstances; staff should strive to be responsive to the needs of individuals.
- As a school we will not:
- Send children with medical conditions home frequently or prevent them from staying for normal school activities, including lunch, unless this is specified in their individual healthcare plans;
- Prevent pupils from drinking, eating or taking toilet or other breaks whenever they need to in order to manage their medical condition effectively;
- Prevent children from easily accessing their inhalers and medication and administering their medication when and where necessary;
- Penalise children for their attendance record if their absences are related to their medical condition e.g. hospital appointments;
- Require parents, or otherwise make them feel obliged, to attend school to administer medication or provide medical support to their child, including with toileting issues.
- Prevent children from participating, or create unnecessary barriers to children participating in any aspect of school life, including outdoor educational visits.
- Definition of health needs
- For the purpose of this policy, pupils with health needs may be:
- Pupils with chronic or short term health conditions or a disability involving specific access requirements, treatments, support or forms of supervision during the course of the school day or
- Sick children, including those who are physically ill or injured or are recovering from medical interventions, or
- Children with mental or emotional health problems.
Roles and Responsibilities
Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that all pupils have equal access to the opportunities that will enable them to flourish and to achieve to the best of their ability.
Designated staff have additional responsibilities as well as additional support and training needs.
Designated member of staff
The member of staff responsible for ensuring that pupils with health needs have access to education is Miss H Ridgley, our Medical information Co-ordinator. She is the person with whom parents/carers will discuss particular arrangements to be made in connection with the medical needs of a pupil. She will together with parents/carers and medical professionals write medical passports for those pupils who require one. It is her responsibility to pass on information to the relevant members of staff within the school. She will liaise with other agencies and professionals, as well as parents/carers, to ensure good communication and effective sharing of information and this will enhance pupils’ inclusion in the life of the school and enable optimum opportunities for educational progress and achievement.
Parents/carers and pupils
Parents hold key information and knowledge and have a crucial role to play. Both parents and pupils will be involved in the process of making decisions regarding medical needs in school. Parents are expected to keep the school informed about any changes in their child’s medical condition or in the treatment their child is receiving, including changes in medication. Parents will be kept informed about arrangements in school and about contact made with outside agencies.
Every member of the school staff should know what to do and respond accordingly when they become aware that a pupil with a medical condition needs help. Staff must familiarise themselves with the medical needs of the pupils they work with. Training will be provided in connection with specific medical needs so that staff know how to meet individual needs, what precautions to take and how to react in an emergency.
The Head Teacher
The Headteacher is responsible for ensuring that all staff are aware of this policy and understand their role in its implementation. The Headteacher will ensure that all staff that need to know is aware of a child’s condition. He will also ensure that sufficient numbers of trained staff are available to implement the policy and deliver all individual healthcare plans, including contingency and emergency situations. The Headteacher has overall responsibility for the development of individual healthcare plans. He will also make sure that school staff are appropriately insured and are aware that they are insured to support pupils in this way. He will contact the school nursing service in the case of any child who has a medical condition that may require support at school, but who has not yet been brought to the attention of the school nurse.
The Governing Body
The governing body is responsible for making arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions in school, including ensuring that this policy is developed and implemented. They will ensure that all pupils with medical conditions are supported to enable the fullest participation possible in all aspects of school life. The governing body will ensure that sufficient staff have received suitable training and are competent before they take on responsibility to support children with medical conditions. They will also ensure that any members of school staff who provide support to pupils with medical conditions are able to access information and other teaching support materials as needed.
School Health Teams
School health teams are responsible for notifying the school when a child has been identified as having a medical condition which will require support in school. Wherever possible, they should do this before the child starts at the school. They may support staff on implementing a child’s individual healthcare plan and provide advice and liaison.
Other Healthcare Professionals
GPs and paediatricians should notify the school nurse when a child has been identified as having a medical condition that will require support at school. They may provide advice on developing healthcare plans.
Information about medical needs or SEND is requested on admission to the school. Parents and carers are asked to keep the school informed of any changes to their child’s condition or treatment. Whenever possible, meetings with the parents/carers and other professionals are held before the pupil attends school to ensure a smooth transition.
Information supplied by parents/carers is transferred to the Medical Needs Log which is kept by Miss Ridgley, this is given to all teaching and non-teaching staff in school. Confidentiality is assured by all members of staff.
Any medical concerns the school has about a pupil will be raised with the parents/carers and discussed with the school nursing team.
Medical Passports and Medical Information sheets
Not all children with medical needs will require a medical passport. The school, healthcare professional and parent should agree, based on evidence, when a medical passport would be inappropriate or disproportionate.
At Trinity Catholic School our Individual Healthcare Plans are called Medical Passports. These are for students that have more severe medical needs and are students that are managed on a day to day basis. Other students who do not need a detailed care plan but still have medical conditions will have a Medical Information Sheet.
Medical Passports will often be essential, such as in cases where conditions fluctuate or where there is a high risk that emergency intervention will be needed. Passports are also likely to be needed in cases where medical conditions are long-term and complex. Passports provide clarity about what needs to be done, when and by whom. A flow chart for identifying and agreeing the support a child needs, and developing a medical passport is provided attached to this article.
Medical Passports will capture the key information and actions that are required to support the child effectively. The level of detail within the passport will depend on the complexity of the child’s condition and the degree of support needed. This is important because different children with the same health condition may require very different support. A template for a medical passport is provided attacehd to this article.
Medical passports and medical information sheets, and their review, may be initiated, in consultation with the parent, by Miss Ridgley or a healthcare professional involved in providing care to the child. Passports and medical information sheets will be drawn up in partnership between the school, parents, and a relevant healthcare professional, e.g. school, specialist or children’s community nurse, who can best advice on the particular needs of the child. Pupils will also be involved whenever appropriate. The format of the medical passport and medical information sheets may vary to enable school to choose whichever is the most effective for the specific needs of each pupil.
Medical Passports and medical information sheets will be easily accessible to all who need to refer to them, while preserving confidentiality.
Partners should agree who will take the lead in writing the passports and medical information sheets, but responsibility for ensuring that it is finalised and implemented rests with the school. These are reviewed at least annually, or earlier if evidence is presented that the child’s needs have changed. Passports are developed with the child’s best interests in mind and ensure that the school assesses and manages risks to the child’s education, health and social well-being and minimises disruption.
Where a child has SEN but does not have an Educational Healthcare plan, their special educational needs will be mentioned in their medical passport or medical information sheet. Where the child has a special educational need identified in an EHC plan, the medical passport will be linked to or become part of that EHC plan.
Where a child is returning to school following a period of hospital education or alternative provision (including home tuition), the school will work with the appropriate hospital school to ensure that the medical passport identifies the support the child will need to reintegrate effectively.
Key points included on a medical passport and medical information sheet:
- Date of birth
- Name of parents/carers
- Contact numbers
- Doctor’s name and surgery
- Medical condition
- Signs/symptoms and triggers
- Medication prescribed and the treatment regime
- Level of support needed
- Contacts of any other agencies involved
- Procedures taken to administer medication
- What to do in an emergency
- Where medication will be kept
All students with medical needs that take medication either at home or school will have a medical information sheet. Short term illnesses will not always merit a medical passport or medical information sheet but will be recorded in the medical log book individual to each student.
Medicines in school
Under the DfE Statutory guidance December 2015:
Medicines should only be administered at school when it would be detrimental to a student’s health or school attendance not to do so. No student under the age of 16 should be given prescription or non- prescription medicines without their parent’s written consent. A child Under 16 years of age should never be given medicine containing aspirin unless prescribed by a doctor. A child should not carry any prescribed or non-prescribed medicine on their person or in their bags, all medicines need to be handed in to reception, recorded and stored. Medication for pain relief, should never be administered without first checking maximum dosages and when the previous dose was taken. Where clinically possible, medicines should be prescribed in dose frequencies which enable them to be taken outside of school hours.
We will only accept prescribed medicines if they are in date, labelled, provided in the original packaging and container as dispensed by a pharmacist and include instructions for administration, dosage and storage. The exception to this is insulin, which must still be in date, but will be stored inside an insulin pen or pump, rather than in its original container.
All medicines should be stored safely. Pupils should know where their medicines are at all times and be able to access them immediately. Medicines and devices such as asthma inhalers and adrenaline pens should be available and not locked away. Passing on medicines to another person is an offense.
The use of non-prescribed medicines should only be used when fully consented to by parents or carers. The use of non-prescribed medicines should normally be limited to a 24hour period and in all cases not exceed 48 hours. If symptoms persist medical advice should be sought. The use of non- prescribed medication must be recorded and this includes medicines that are self- administered.
Staff should not have on their person any prescribed or non-prescribed medication, this should be recorded at reception and locked away at all times out of reach of all pupils.
After discussion with parents/carers, children who are competent should be encouraged to take responsibility for managing their own medicines and procedures. This will be reflected within their medical passport.
Students wherever possible, will be able to carry their own medicines and devices or be able to access their medicines for self-medication quickly and easily. Students who manage this may require an appropriate level of supervision. If it is not appropriate for a student to self-manage arrangements should be made for relevant staff to administer medicines and manages procedures for them.
A pupil will not be forced to take medicine or carry out a necessary procedure, but follow the procedure agreed in the health care plan. Parents will be informed so that alternative options can be considered.
It is good practice to support and encourage pupils, who are able to take responsibility to manage their own medicines and procedures from a relatively early age where possible.
There is no set age for self-management, there may be circumstances where it is not appropriate for a child of any age to self-manage. Health professionals need to assess, with parents and the child the appropriate time to make this transition.
Clear records will be maintained of all medication bought into school. Each pupil receiving medication will have their own running record kept in the lower and upper school reception. This ensures confidentiality, administrative protocol and clear record keeping. Every attempt should be made to ensure accuracy however if errors on the register occur we will not use tipp-ex or cross out or alter what has already been written. All errors will be identified with an asterisk. Then either on the next line or at the bottom of the page write ‘entered in error, should read…’. This will then be signed and dated. Every half term records will be filed in the individual file for each student.
Recycling and Secondary ‘Prescribing’
It is illegal to recycle any medications or to give them to another person, no matter what the circumstances. Staff will not repackage or re-label medication it must be administered directly from the pharmacy patient labelled packaging to do so would be secondary prescribing. Medication can only be given to the person for whom they were prescribed.
Disposal of Medicines
The DfE guidance states when no longer required, medicines should be returned to the parent to arrange for safe disposal. Sharp boxes should always be used for the disposal of needles and other sharps these are available in our support centres Elim and Emmaus and our reception areas.
The School Premises
Schools must have accommodation appropriate and readily available for use for medical examination and treatment and for caring for sick or injured pupils.
Should parents or carers be dissatisfied with the support provided by school they should discuss their concerns directly with the school. If this does not resolve the issue, they may make a formal complaint via the school’s complaint procedure.