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    We give information and advice to schools on supporting children with medical or mental health conditions

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    Practical advice on supporting children with the challenges they face at school

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    Information and advice on specific medical and mental health conditions

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ADVICE TO SCHOOLS FROM YOUNG PEOPLE

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Spring 2018

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YOUR QUESTIONS

My son has eczema, asthma and food allergies

My son has eczema, asthma and food allergies

I need some advice, my son who is 6 has eczema and asthma and food allergies. School are aware of this but it’s a constant battle to get them to do things right for my son even with medical hospital letters. Well there was an incident regarding my son being given extra medicine which the school deny but my son still says happened even now. Well I told school I didn’t want them doing anything for him so I went in for 3 days to do it myself once a day when he’s supposed to be done 3 times a day. Well 2 days later he was given pizza at school for dinner which he’s not allowed to eat as he has an allergy to tomato based food. Which he wears a badge stating and school kitchen and office are aware of this but still happened. I’m not happy now with my son school and I take him home now to feed him and cream him at dinner times and also provide snacks and his own juice as he can’t have at school. I just don’t know what to do as I’m not happy with him there and don’t feel like they dealing with his needs as this keep happening and when I go into complain I get told to take my child out of school and that they do more than enough for my child I just don’t know what else to do. 

The situation sounds very stressful at present. I wonder if you could find a way to talk to school about your concerns. Is there a teacher or teaching assistant that you have a good relationship with? If there is perhaps you could request a meeting with the schools special needs co-ordinator or other staff member responsible for pupils with medical needs and ask if this person can also attend. Do you have a clinical nurse specialist at your local hospital? They often have a role in helping schools understand medical needs and how schools can work in partnership with parents. Some will attend meetings with parents at the school. Has the school drawn up an Individual Healthcare Plan? A review of this is a good way to talk about what is and is not working well in school. This can be a way to be both positive in relation to what is going well but also let school know what is not working. If you feel that the situation with school staff has broken down it may be helpful to contact the school governor responsible for special needs and explain your concerns.

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My daughter has severe multiple food and environmental allergies

My daughter has severe multiple food and environmental allergies

My daughter is in year 5 and has severe multiple food and environmental allergies, eczema and asthma. Where can I find more information about how to look at secondary schools? Also I heard that I can ask her primary school for an "action plan" - but I cannot seem to find more information on this online. Could you please point me in the right direction?


Transition to secondary school is often a stressful time for families but more so if your child has particular medical needs, so thinking about it now when your child is in year 5 is a good idea.
Feedback from parents suggests the following points may be helpful:
• Talk to parents of children currently at the secondary school. They can tell you what the overall ethos is and may give you examples of how their child has been treated when additional care/ support was needed. (how the school deals with a range of needs/ problems they may not have medical needs but this will at least give you a view of how they manage adjustments)
• Talk to children attending the school too, they will let you know if staff are approachable and what it feels like if you need help.
• Always visit the school either at open days or via appointment. Request to speak to the member of staff responsible for medical needs. Ask to see their policy on the management of medical needs. All schools should have a policy and a named staff member. This is often the SENCo.
• Ask the current primary school what they know about the local secondary schools.
• Check out the school websites and see if they have copies of school policies. Read an up to date OFsted report, this is unlikely to mention medical needs but will comment on ethos. • When you have identified a school work with the school in drawing up a support plan for your child so that everyone is clear about what is helpful and required to keep your child well.

The following link give good practice advice to schools on medical needs plans:

http://www.allergyuk.org/childcarers-and-teachers/advice-for-childcarers-and-teachers-menu

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My daughter has selective mutism

My daughter has selective mutism

I have been saying on and off for the past two years that my daughter has selective mutism but only in occasional situations outside home and at school. It’s perhaps gone on too long as it has not really been picked up by teachers.It came to a head on Wednesday when the head mistress gave a detention for not completing her maths work and only achieving one sum when to me this seemed harsh and also she must have been struggling to ask for help. Where do I get a formal diagnosis as for two years in her report they have labelled her stubborn and she is obviously uncomfortable in some situation. At home and in familiar surroundings she is fine but school isn't one of them. Please help!

It must be stressful for you all at present. The first thing we always suggest, if you haven’t already, is trying to talk directly to school, perhaps meeting with the SENCo to discuss your concerns. If you feel that you are not able to progress your concerns with school and you would like to talk to a Child and Adolescent Mental health (CAMHs) professional regarding your concerns you can pursue this through your GP. Alternatively you may find it helpful to call the Youngminds helpline: http://www.youngminds.org.uk/for_parents/parent_helpline We have had very positive feedback from families that have used this service.

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TWITTER

Well at School

RT @mariamarinho6: Help us all find out how to better promote mental health in schools twitter.com/educationgovuk…

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