Supporting pupils with health needs in schools

9th April 2021

  • A new project called “Health Needs in Schools” aims to improve support in schools for children and young people with medical needs. There are 18 schools in Sheffield currently taking part in the project.

    These schools are:

    Special schools: Talbot, Seven Hills, Bents Green, Norfolk Park, Woolley Wood, Rowan, Kenwood, Heritage, Mossbrook and Holgate.

    Mainstream schools: Tapton, Southey Green, Wisewood, Hallam, Bradfield, Meynell, Forge Valley and Hillsborough, including any attached nursery and pre-schools.

    Although the project is currently only working with a small number of mainstream schools, the information, resources and training will be made available to all schools.

    The two nurses leading the project are currently working to:

    • Identify the current health needs in schools and what support and interventions are in place or required to help manage these.
    • Provide advice and support to schools in meeting the children’s health needs.
    • Develop a local policy for managing medical conditions in schools. This will give clear guidance for schools, pre-schools and nurseries when pupils attend with a health need.
    • Provide support, advice and training to the schools to ensure that Individual Healthcare Plans (see box) are developed and implemented.

    What is an Individual Healthcare Plan (IHCP)?

    An Individual Healthcare Plan is a document that records important information about a child’s medical condition. It says what needs to be done, when and by whom to ensure the child can make the most of school. Not all pupils with medical conditions need one, but they will be helpful for children with long-term and/or complex medical conditions. They are essential if there is a risk that emergency interventions might be required. Schools should work with parents (and the child if appropriate) and relevant healthcare professionals to develop and review these plans.

    If a child also has a special educational need or disability, the Individual Healthcare Plan should be linked to or become part of their Education Health and Care (EHC) plan or SEN support plan (MyPlan).