This page describes the support available to schools and settings to support the needs of CYP who may need support due to either mental or physical ill health or disability.
The local authority and schools have a statutory duty to make the necessary arrangements to provide ongoing education for children who, due to their medical condition, are unable to attend school for a period of time.
The Medical Education Service team provide short-term education to help schools and settings to provide continuity in education when a child or young people has been absent from school for 15 days or more due to a physical or mental health need. The medical education service is not an Alternative Provision nor a long term solution. If it is likely that a child or young person will be out of education for a long period due to a medical need further discussions will take place between the school and the Local Authority regarding a longer term plan.
The Medical Education Service is also able to provide advice and support to schools to fulfil their responsibility towards medical students on their roll. This may include education plans whilst off school and advice towards supporting reintegration back to school. If a school notices signs that a child or young person is at risk of not attending school due to medical reasons measures will need to be put in place to prevent this from happening. The medical education service can offer advice to schools around what these measures should look like.
The service is made up of a service lead, four locality co-ordinators, Maths Teachers, English Teachers and MES HLTAs.
Who are the children and young people supported by the service?
Children referred for support from the MES will be assessed on the following criteria:
A resident in North Yorkshire
Aged 5-18 years or up to 25 years if they have an EHC Plan
A health condition which is the reason they are unable to attend school
Currently receiving specialist help and support from a recognised health professional
Evidence from the health specialist, delivering the help and support which describes what the child or young person can do from an educational perspective
Children must have been absent from school for 15 days or more (one off or cumulatively) due to their medical condition
The request has been discussed with parents/carers and signed consent has been obtained from those with parental responsibility or from a young person themselves, where they are considered to be competent and are over 16 years of age
How Do I make a Request to the Service?
All requests for medical education for children and young people, of statutory school age, to be submitted to the Inclusion Service using the medical education request form. The MES Request Form can be found here. Section 16 of the form must be completed by the health professional who is currently working with the child or young person.
NB all request made to the MES must have the whole schools policy on supporting pupils with medical conditions attached. For further information relating to this policy and a template for schools to use please read MES Procedures for supporting children with medical conditions here and appendix 9.
Please note: If a Child or Young Person is clinically or extremely clinically vulnerable to Covid 19 and for this reason can no longer attend school the responsibility to continue their education lies with their home school.
All requests received up to a Wednesday will go to the SEND Hub Allocation panel on the following Monday save in the case of exceptional circumstances. Please note the panel is term time only.
If the panel agree that the criteria has been met the school will be asked to organise a multi-disciplinary meeting where health, education and parents/carers will agree what the short-term medical education intervention will look like and how school will meet the needs of the child or young person long term.
The intervention will be reviewed no later than up to 6 weeks where a discussion around whether the child or young person is ready to start the transition back to school will be held.
Schools can contact MES co-ordinators for informal advice around a child or young person who may not meet the criteria.
Personalised Reintegration Education Programme (PREP)
Each child or young person will have a Personal Reintegration Education Programme (PREP) which will be tailored to their needs. The plan will be a working document which will be created in collaboration between school, parents/carers, child/young person, the medical education service and health professionals. It will detail the different types of provision the child/young person is receiving which will include the schools offer and that of the service which may include 1:1 tuition, group tuition, AV1 and/or Academy 21.
If a child or young person is eligible to receive support from the medical education service there will be no cost to the school for the education that is provided. If a child or young person has an EHCP the cost of the services provision will be deducted from the element 3 funding received by school. Where a child or young person does not meet the criteria there will opportunity for schools to purchase support from the service subject to MES capacity.
Schools have a statutory duty to make the necessary arrangements to provide ongoing education for children who, due to their medical condition, are unable to attend school for a period of time.
Schools are responsible for making adjustments so CYP can access education.
Schools are responsible for making a request to the Medical Education Service if a CYP has 15 days of absence, consecutive or accumulative, due to a medical need and school are unable to offer an education the CYP can access.
Schools are responsible for keeping in contact with the CYP and their parents/carers even though they may not be attending school. The CYP remain on the roll of the school and therefore it is crucial the CYP continues to feel a part of the school even though they may not be on site. The Medical Education Service (MES) can advise school on how best to achieve this.
If the Medical Education Service (MES) does become involved regular review meetings will be held between school, health, MES and parents/carers. It will be the responsibility of the school to organise these meetings.
If the Medical Education Service (MES) does become involved schools will be responsible for providing the resources needed to the MES so the CYP can be taught Maths and or English as if they were in school full-time. Resources may include text books, set texts, exercise books and any other resources the CYP needs to engage in the education.
Schools are responsible for ensuring the CYP have the appropriate resources to be able to engage in the offer of education made by school and or the MES and this may include a laptop, tablet, access to the schools online platform or any other resources needed.
Schools need to ensure they have an Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP) in place for all children with medical needs and this needs to be completing alongside health and parents/carers.
If the Medical Education Service (MES) does become involved the school continues to maintain a safeguarding responsibility for the CYP. If a CYP does not attend the offer of education made by the MES and the school it is fundamental that school visits the CYP at home as part of the wellbeing check. The MES will inform the schools safeguarding lead of any concerns. It is recommended that school is in regular contact with the CYP’s family.
Schools have a statutory obligation to update and share their policy on supporting CYP with medical needs.
References/links to associated information
Medical Education Service - One Page Profile (January 2023)
Guidance to Schools and Settings on Supporting Children and Young People with Medical Conditions
Additional Useful Information
Mini Marketplace - SEMH in North Yorkshire (updated October 2021)
There are also several organisations that can help children and young people with physical and medical needs such as;
- ERIC (Education and Resources for improving Childhood Continence – www.eric.org.uk) might be helpful for parents/carers, early years and education professionals and healthcare professionals for a child who has bladder and bowel needs.
- PDnet is a network for those supporting learners with physical disability (you can find them at https://pdnet.org.uk).
- Disability sport (www.disabilitysport.org.uk) can help and guide professionals, including teachers and teaching staff how to adapt the physical education curriculum for children with physical and medical needs.
The following websites look at several specific medical conditions and might provide support for the child. They are;
- Epilepsy (https://www.epilepsy.org.uk / www.youngepilepsy.org.uk)
- Duchenne (www.actionduchenne.org / www.decipha.org (maths advice)
- www.muscular-dystrophy.org is another helpful website.
- Muscular Dystrophy UK, Educational Guidelines document, Dept. of Education
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA – www.smauk.org.uk)
- Spina Bifida (www.spinabifidaassociation.org)
- Cerebral Palsy (www.cerebralpalsy.org.uk)
- Friedreich’s Ataxia (www.ataxia.org.uk)
- Child Brain Injury Trust (https://childbraininjurytrust.org.uk/)
- Asthma UK (www.asmtha.org.uk)
- Pans Pandas UK (www.panspandasuk.org)
Contact for more information
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