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Key people

Key School and Medical staff that may need to be involved in the support of a student with medical or mental health needs at school.

School staff

  • Class teacher / form tutor
    The Class Teacher is usually the first point of contact for parents and carers. When a student is in hospital the staff in the hospital school aim to talk directly to the Class Teacher. This positive and proactive discussion can aid the continuity of education and is very much appreciated by families. 

  • Exams officer
    For students taking public exams, such as GCSE's, AS and A levels the Exams Officer has an important liaison role both with the exams board and with a hospital school or tuition service that may be acting as a host exam centre. The Exams Officer will ensure that the student is entitled to additional time and breaks as well as coursework extensions should the learner meet the required criteria.

  • Head of year
    The Head of Year is often the first contact for a hospital teacher working with students in secondary schools. The Head of Year will often be key in liaising with subject teachers to ensure that plans and work is collected and passed on promptly to the hospital school teacher. If the student is at home, the Head of Year is key in ensuring that work is sent home via email / post. The Head of Year is also key in helping to organise reintegration back to school following a period of absence.

  • School nurse or designated school nurse
    The School Nurse is a key supportive person in ensuring that a student can be helped to maximise their time in school. They may help when drawing up a treatment plan and will make arrangements for the administration of medication in school.

  • Special educational needs coordinator / inclusion coordinator (SENCO)
    The SENCo is a named person within the school with responsibility for students with medical and educational needs. The SENCo's role is crucial in co-ordinating the care and special arrangements required for individual learners. They co-ordinate additional support for pupils with SEN and liaise with their parents, teachers and other professionals who are involved with them. They also have responsibility for requesting the involvement of an Educational Psychologist and other external services if necessary.They will form part of the team around the learner in more complex cases and will be invited to planning and review meetings. They will work with the family and possibly a member of the medical team to draw up a treatment plan.

  • Teaching assistants, playground supervisors and lunchtime supervisors
    Teaching Assistants, Playground Supervisors and Lunchtime Supervisors are key support staff and need to be aware of the medical needs of learners as they are particularly important in helping support learners socially and emotionally out of the classroom. 

Medical staff

  • Clinical nurse specialist (CNS)
    The Clinical Nurse Specialist is a medical specialist for a certain patient group, for example, patients with diabetes, epilepsy or sickle cell disease. Students and families may see this person, or be referred when they are in hospital. If necessary, Clinical Nurse Specialists may have an outreach remit and can liaise with school staff to ensure the continuity of care and education.

  • Clinical psychologist
    Clinical Psychologists often work within a multidisciplinary team to help students manage a range of conditions and situations. They are mental health professionals who are trained in the diagnosis and psychological treatment, behaviour and emotional illness. They may work with students individually or with their families.  

  • Hospital consultant
    The Hospital Consultant is the doctor that has overall responsibility for the planning and delivery of treatment. They work as part of the multidisciplinary team to ensure that the medical care required takes account of the physical, emotional and social needs of the student.

  • Occupational therapist (OT)
    Occupational therapists help people of all ages to carry out everyday activities which are essential for health and wellbeing. They may carry out assessments and formulate treatment plans.
  • Physiotherapist
    A Physiotherapist will generally be involved in the care of patients experiencing physical difficulties following illness, accident or disability. They work with patients to improve movement and overall body function. This will involve assessment and treatment programmes involving manual therapy, movement and therapeutic exercises. The Physiotherapist will work with patients in hospital and on an outpatient basis.

  • Speech and language therapist
    Speech and language therapists (SLT) work closely with babies, children and students who have various levels of speech, language and communication problems, and those who have swallowing, drinking or eating difficulties. They will carry out assessments and develop treatment plans that can be reinforced by the multidisciplinary team including the teachers.