Skip to content ↓

Children With Health Needs Who Cannot Attend School Policy

Children with Health Needs Who Cannot Attend School Policy

Policy details

  • Date created - 01 February 2024
  • Date approved -
  • Next review date - February 2025
  • Policy owner - Jess Field

  1. Aims
  2. Legislation and Guidance
  3. Roles and Responsibilities
  4. Support for students
  5. Monitoring Arrangements


This policy aims to ensure that:

  • Suitable education is arranged for any student on roll who cannot attend school  due to health needs;
  • Students, staff and parents understand what the school is responsible for when  this education is being provided by the local authority.

Co-op Academy Leeds aims to ensure that all children who are unable to  attend school due to medical needs, and who would not receive suitable education  without such provision, continue to have access to as much education as their  medical condition allows, to enable them to reach their full potential.

Due to the nature of their health needs, some children may be admitted to hospital or  placed in alternative forms of education provision. We recognise that, whenever  possible, students should receive their education within their school and the aim of  the provision will be to reintegrate students back into school as soon as they are well enough.

We understand that we have a continuing role in a student’s education whilst they  are not in school and will work with Leeds Local Authority,  healthcare partners and families to ensure that all children with medical needs  receive the right level of support to enable them to maintain links with their education.

Legislation and Guidance

This policy has due regard to all relevant legislation and statutory guidance including,  but not limited to, the following:

  • Education Act 1996
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Data Protection Act 2018
  • DfE (2013) ‘Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school  because of health needs’
  • DfE (2015) ‘Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions’.

Roles and Responsibilities

Children who may be unable to attend the academy due to their medical condition include those with:

  • Physical health issues
  • Physical injuries
  • Mental health problems
  • Progressive conditions
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Terminal illnesses
  • Chronic illnesses

Children may instead attend a hospital school, home tuition or access provision from the Medical Needs Teaching Service. If Co-op Academy Leeds cannot make suitable arrangements the Local Authority (LA) will become responsible for this.

The LA should:

  • Provide education as soon as it is clear a child will be away from school for 15 days or more, whether consecutive or cumulative, with minimal  delay.
  • Address the needs of the individual when arranging provision.
  • Review the provision regularly to ensure it continues to be appropriate  and that it is providing suitable education.

In a case where the LA makes arrangements, the academy will work constructively with all relevant agencies to ensure the best outcomes for the  pupil. Co-op Academy Leeds will share information as required and ensure that the child can be reintegrated into the school when appropriate.

The named teacher will be responsible for:

  • Dealing with pupils who are unable to attend school because of medical needs.
  • Actively monitor pupil progress and reintegration.
  • Supply pupil’s education providers with information about the child’s  progress and outcomes.
  • Liaise with the Headteacher, education providers and parents, providing a  link between pupils, their parents and the LA.

Teachers and support staff will be responsible for:

  • Understanding confidentiality in regards to the pupil’s health needs.
  • Designing lessons in a way that will not exclude a child based on their  health needs and allows them to engage fully in their education.
  • Be aware of the needs of their pupils, particularly with interest to any signs,  symptoms or triggers. They should know what to do in an emergency.

Parents will be expected to:

  • Ensure regular and punctual attendance of their child at the academy where  possible.
  • Work in partnership with the academy to ensure the best possible  outcomes for their child.
  • Promptly notify the academy of any changes in information or reasons for absence.
  • Attend meetings and engage in discussions to support their child.
  • has become responsible for the student’s education.

Support for students

  • Where a student has a complex or long-term health issue, the school will  discuss the student’s needs and how these may be best met with the Local  Authority, relevant medical professionals, parents and, where appropriate, the student.
  • The Local Authority expects the school to support students with health needs  to attend full time education wherever possible, or for the school to make  reasonable adjustments to student’ programmes of study where medical  evidence supports the need for those adjustments.
  • The school will make reasonable adjustments under students’ individual  healthcare plans (IHCPs).
  • Students admitted to hospital will receive education as determined appropriate  by the medical professionals and hospital tuition team at the hospital  concerned.
  • During a period of absence, the school will work with the provider of the  student’s education to establish and maintain regular communication and  effective outcomes.
  • Whilst a student is away from school, the school will work with the Local  Authority to ensure the student can successfully remain in touch with their  school using the following methods: newsletters, emails, invitations to school  events, cards or letters from peers and staff.
  • Where appropriate, the school will provide the student’s education provider  with relevant information, curriculum materials and resources.
  • To help ensure a student with additional health needs is able to attend school  following an extended period of absence, the following adaptations will be  considered:
  • A personalised or part-time timetable, drafted in consultation with the named  staff member;
  • Access to additional support in school;
  • Online access to the curriculum from home;
  • Movement of lessons to more accessible rooms;
  • Places to rest at school;
  • Special exam arrangements to manage anxiety or fatigue.

Monitoring Arrangements

This policy will be reviewed annually by the SENDCo. At every review, it will be  approved by the full governing board.

Any changes in the policy will be clearly communicated to all members of staff  involved in supporting students with additional health needs, and to parents and  pupils themselves.

This policy operates in line with all relevant legislation and statutory guidance  including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Education Act 1996
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Data Protection Act 2108
  • DfE (2013) ‘Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school  because of health needs’
  • DfE (2015) ‘Supporting pupils at school with medical  conditions’

This policy operates in conjunction with the following policies:

  • Co-op Academy Leeds Attendance Policy
  • Co-op Academy LeedsSafeguarding and Child Protection Policy
  • Co-op Academy Leeds SEND Policy
  • Co-op Academy Leeds Accessibility Plan
  • Co-op Academy Leeds Supporting Students with Medical Needs Policy