Nine out of ten schools not following law on medical support
An investigation by the Health Conditions in Schools Alliance has shown that nine out of ten schools are not complying with the law on support for children with medical conditions such as epilepsy. Since 2014, state schools in England have been required to have a policy in place to make sure children who have healthcare needs are safe, included and achieve their potential.
The findings have been revealed after the Health Conditions in Schools Alliance contacted a random sample of 200 schools, representing 89 different local authorities across England. Young Epilepsy is a member of the Alliance, alongside more than 30 other organisations representing young people with medical conditions.
Two thirds of schools did not have a medical conditions policy in place at all. The Government has published guidance on what should be included in these policies, but only one in ten schools could show they had a policy which meets these requirements. Key information that was missing included staff training, how to safely include children in all activities and what to do in an emergency.
The findings have been announced as Young Epilepsy launches a survey for young people with epilepsy and their families about the support that they receive at school.
One parent told us:
My son has life threatening seizures, yet despite the law being in place, he has no medical plan at school. Often there are no teaching staff on site who are trained to deal with the seizures and keep my son alive. This is disgraceful. Because of the lack of education and awareness of epilepsy, children’s lives are put at risk every day.
The Health Conditions in Schools Alliance, said:
The law states all schools should have a medical conditions policy outlining how to care for any children with medical conditions, the procedures for getting the right care and training, and who is responsible for making sure the policy is carried out.
Ofsted need to check for medical conditions policies as part of its inspections to ensure schools are doing everything in their power to keep children safe. We’re currently in talks with the Department for Education, but it needs to be more active in letting schools know it is their legal duty to produce and implement this document.