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Education of children and young people with medical needs

This guidance covers the education of pupils who are unable to attend normal full time schooling for medical reasons. Schools may need to seek the support of the local authority for pupils, who are temporarily unable to attend school and who:

  • are physically ill
  • are injured
  • have mental health problems
  • are pregnant and suffering from ill health

Education Access Team

The Education Access Team fulfils the Local Authority’s (LA), statutory and strategic responsibilities to support pupils of statutory school age who are unable to attend school, due to a medical condition. The team will arrange an appropriate educational offer for the pupil, as their health condition allows. 

Referral to the service

Schools should have an identified lead contact for children who are unable to attend school due to health reasons. The Medical Needs service is intended to be a short-term, interim provision for children with medical needs. The referral requires school to complete Part 1 and the consultant overseeing the child’s care to complete Part 2, parental consent is also required.

Referrals are considered at a fortnightly panel meeting and the outcome of every referral is sent to the referring school and parent following a decision being made.

All referrals to the Medical Education Team must come directly from the child’s school, using the Medical Education Referral Form (Word, 78KB). Schools fill in Part A and this must be supported by medical evidence from one of the following health professionals:

  • consultant paediatrician or adolescent psychiatrist
  • consultant child psychiatrist
  • hospital consultant

Please note
Supporting evidence from a General Practitioner alone cannot be accepted. The health professional will need to complete Part B of the referral form and return it to the referring school.

Who is the Medical Needs Service there to support?

Schools may make a referral to the Education Access Team - Medical Needs Service, when it is identified that a child will be away from school for 15 days or more, whether consecutive or cumulative. They should liaise with appropriate medical professionals to ensure minimal delay in obtaining relevant health information to support a referral to the medical needs service.

Educational offer for pupils receiving support from the Medical Needs service

When a case is opened by the Medical Needs service, school will arrange a planning meeting, attended by parent/carer, school, health, Education Access Officer and the pupil if they choose to attend. At this meeting the needs of the pupil will be discussed, and an education is agreed which outlines a suitable educational offer for the pupil, as their health condition allows.

The Medical Needs team commissions places from Ancora House Learning Hub. The Education Access team will arrange 1:1 tutoring in the community if this is required, this is not commissioned from Ancora Learning Hub. 

Further information

More information can be found on the Gov.UK website and in our Medical Needs policy document.

Where to find help

  • Email: MedicalNeeds@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk
  • By post: Education Access Team (Education Infrastructure, 3rd floor, Nicholas House) Cheshire West and Chester Council, 4 Civic Way, Ellesmere Port, CH65 0BE
  • Telephone: 01244 972825

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