Guidance on the education of children with healthcare needs

The Scottish Government is consulting on Guidance on healthcare needs in school. Children in Scotland, with input from Enquire, has submitted a response highlighting the importance of clarity for schools, education authorities, NHS boards, parents and carers on the responsibilities relating to the education of children with healthcare needs. Enquire is pleased to be able to share issues raised with us by parents and carers to support the response.

Children in Scotland highlights the breakdown in communications and relationships between families and schools that can result where the health needs of children are not adequately met. While Children in Scotland welcomes the guidance and feels it goes some way to provide clarification for everybody involved in supporting children with healthcare needs they suggest areas where the guidance could be strengthened and calls for:

  • The guidance to makes clear the full extent of the duties placed on schools and local authorities for children with healthcare needs under the 2010 Equality Act. Children in Scotland suggest the inclusion of  case studies giving examples of what “reasonable adjustments” for children with health needs may look like
  • The guidance should set out in more detail the role parents and carers are expected to have in meeting their child’s healthcare needs
  • The rights, responsibilities and expectations of school support staff should be set out explicitly.

Children in Scotland welcomes the emphasis in the guidance on listening to children and young people’s views and suggests it should be core message throughout that children and young people are consulted on decisions that affect on them.  Children in Scotland suggest that the guidance  be clear that consideration should be given to the best way to consult young people with additional support needs particularly those with profound communication difficulties.  Clarity is also needed on the responsibilities relating to privacy and confidentiality for professionals working with young people and with who they may share personal information with.

Read Children in Scotland full response here

To provide a response visit the Scottish Government website. The consultation is open until 24 April 2017.

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