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Supporting Children with Medical
and Mental Health Needs at School


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How schools can help a student manage their return to school after a period of absence

Meet with the student and family 

Meet with the student and a family member before they start back to discuss their concerns and agree a plan for their first day. This can help alleviate anxiety. The school should arrange peer support and inform teachers of any special requirements. Use the meeting to update or complete an Individual Healthcare Plan

Request support from medical or hospital school staff 

Ask a member of the medical or hospital school/tuition unit to come in and talk to staff especially where a student's medical or mental health condition requires considerable planning or arrangements for a smooth transition back to school.

Liaise with the school nurse

Where possible liaise with the school nurse to ensure all relevant medical information is updated. Medication may have changed or additional or different medical staff may be involved. Make sure you have the most up to date information.

Inform staff 

Inform staff who need to know of the effects of the medical condition on the student, and who should be contacted if the student falls ill while at school or on a school outing.

Discuss a plan for catching up

Discuss a realistic plan for catching up on missed work, this should be monitored and evaluated after a set period. This is particularly important for students working towards exams. 

Monitor for changes

Look out for any changes in quality of work and overall behaviour. Consult with parent / carer and student early on if there are any concerns.

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HOPE (Hospital Organisation of Pedagogues in Europe)