The Hospital and Home Education Service (HHES) provides education for children who are unable to attend school for medical or related reasons. The service is designed to provide interim support for children who were in school before their illness and will return to school once they have been discharged from medical treatment.
To be eligible, children must:
– Be of compulsory school age (i.e. until the end of the academic year in which they turn 16)
– be on a school roll*
– be in hospital for more than three days (provided medical staff say they are well enough)
– have physical or mental health needs which mean that they will be absent from school for more than 15 days
– be pregnant or a young mother.
For other periods of time out of school it is the school’s responsibility to ensure that the child has appropriate school work to do until they are well enough to return to school.
* Children whose parents have elected to educate at home under section 7 of the 1996 Education Act are not eligible for support from HHES because parents have elected to be the educators of the child and have responsibility for his/her education. The HHES can work with children who are not on a school roll for other reasons while the Children Missing Education Team is seeking a place for them.
– Referrals can be made by school, medical staff, MAST staff, midwives, Sheffield Futures workers, social worker or other appropriate agencies.
– Referrals must be supported by an appropriate medical professional. For children with mental health needs, the HHES will usually want to get the opinion of a CAMHS consultant to ensure home tuition is the right provision for the child.
– A first meeting is arranged to help the child become accustomed to the HHES, and to ensure they are able to cope with 1:1 teaching. An initial offer of teaching hours is agreed at this meeting.
– A home tutoring session can be up to 1.5 hours, but can be less depending on the child’s needs. There can be up to two sessions in one day.
– Six-weekly reviews are held to discuss progress and plan for the next weeks. These are attended by multi-agency professionals and parents. Parents are asked at each review meeting whether they are happy with the hours’ offer. If parents feel their child needs more provision, they can ask for it.
– With 11 FTE staff, the service has limited capacity to provide 1:1 teaching; it can only meet government guidelines of up to 25 hours of education per week through group teaching, especially at Spring Lane.
– If a child with a statement of SEN cannot attend school for medical or related reasons, the local authority remains under a duty to arrange the provision set out in the statement as much as practicable.
In case of problems:
– Parents who have been unable to access HHES provision or who feel their child is not getting enough provision can ask for their case to be reviewed by a panel, which meets fortnightly. Parents should send details of their case to Sacha Schofield, who manages the service: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Department for Education have published statutory guidance for local authorities about “Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs”