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Home Children and Young People Parents and Carers Working with Children

Medical Support to Pupils in Schools

  1. Some pupils will have medical conditions that require support so that they can attend school regularly and take part in school activities. Schools and their employers should have policies on managing pupils' medicines and on supporting pupils with medical needs. See managing medicines in schools and early year’s settings below for further information.

  2. Some children may be unable to attend school because of their medical condition and where this happens there should be arrangements in place to ensure the continuation of their education. See access to education for children and young people with medical needs below for further information.

Managing Medicines in Schools and Early-Years Settings

  1. It is for schools to develop their policies on the management and administration of pupils' medicines and putting in place systems for supporting individual pupils with medical needs.

  2. SWP – Medical Support to Pupils provides advice for Head teachers to help in the development of such policies. It explains the roles and responsibilities of employers, parents and carers, governing bodies, head teachers, teachers and other staff and of local health services. It considers staffing issues including employment of staff, insurance and training. Other issues covered include drawing up a health care plan for a pupil, confidentiality, record keeping, the storage, access and disposal of medicines, home to school transport and on-site and off-site activities.

  3. It also provides general information on the four most common conditions — asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and anaphylaxis.

  4. A Template managing medicines policy is available to download and can be modified to suit the school’s needs.

  5. If a pupil has a medical need then in most cases an Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP) should be drawn up between parents, the school and Health Care professionals to ensure that there are robust procedures in place to manage pupils’ healthcare needs, particularly in relation to conditions which can lead to a sudden and serious deterioration in a child’s health if not appropriately treated. Where appropriate this plan should also detail how the education of the pupil will be managed if the health need may impact upon attendance in lessons.

  6. Important Note: An Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP) should not be confused with an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). EHCPs replaced Statements of Special Educational Need and relate to legal entitlements to pupil support under the Special Educational Needs code of practice. IHCPs relate to medical conditions that are not necessarily related to any additional learning need, but which need to be addressed by a school to meet a child’s health and wellbeing whilst in a school’s care, and provide an inclusive education for them.

  7. To assist schools there are a number of template individual health care plans that can downloaded and modified to suit the school’s and pupils needs

Other Information on Health Conditions

  1. Medical Conditions at School – A free Policy Resource Pack has been compiled by the Medical Conditions at School Group and compliments the DfE publication supporting pupils at school with medical conditions (Statutory guidance for governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of academies in England) April 2014.

  2. Information and resources have also been produced individually by the following voluntary organisations:


  1. The Anaphylaxis Campaign website contains guidance for schools, which discusses anaphylaxis, treatment, setting up a protocol, and support for pupils and staff. It also includes a sample protocol. The Anaphylaxis Campaign Helpline is 01252 542 029. The Anaphylaxis Campaign has also published the help for schools webpage which has specific advice for pre-schools, schools, school caterers, parents, students and nurses.


  1. From the 1 October 2014 the Human Medicines (Amendment No 2) Regulations 2014 will enable schools in Southampton to keep a small number of salbutamol inhalers, if they wish, for use in emergencies when a pupil’s inhaler is unavailable, broken, empty or has expired. If a School chooses to keep an emergency inhaler they should establish a policy or protocol for the use of the emergency inhaler based on the School advice note Emergency Salbutamol Inhalers in Schools

Schools are not required to hold an inhaler. This is a discretionary power.

The emergency salbutamol inhaler should only be used by children:

  • Who have been diagnosed with asthma, and prescribed an inhaler;
  • Who have been prescribed an inhaler as reliever medication;
  • For whom written parental consent for use of the emergency inhaler has been given
  1. Asthma UK has downloadable that provide information on asthma, asthma in PE and sports, and what to do when a child with asthma joins the class. It provides comprehensive information on how to develop a school asthma policy and asthma register, with an example. Also available are School Asthma Card and information and posters for young people to encourage them to be active with their asthma. To answer any questions about asthma call the Asthma UK Adviceline on 0800 121 62 44 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)


  1. Diabetes UK has information on diabetes in school, which discusses insulin injections, diet, snacks, hypoglycemia reaction and how to treat it. It contains a downloadable version of their school pack, Guide to diabetes in Schools.

  2. Further information is available from Diabetes UK Care line, telephone 0845 120 2960 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).


  1. The National Eczema Society has produced an eczema at school information pack , available from the Society, to encourage discussion about eczema in the classroom. The pack follows a lesson plan format and ties in with the National Curriculum and is tailored according to age group.


  1. Epilepsy Action (British Epilepsy Association) has information for schools in epilepsy in schools. This looks at classroom first aid, emergency care, medication and school activities. Further information is available from the freephone helpline on 0808 800 5050 or email helpline@epilepsy.org.uk.

  2. The National Society for Epilepsy (NSE) has information on education and epilepsy which looks at epilepsy and learning, special needs, examinations, practical activities, medication, the Disability Discrimination Act, and teaching pupils with epilepsy. Contact the UK Epilepsy helpline, telephone 01494 601 400 (Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm).

  3. Further advice can be found in the following publication:

    20.1. Southampton City Council Safe Working Procedure – Medical Support to Pupils

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