The Children’s Heart Federation have welcomed new legal guidance to improve support in schools for over 1 million children with long-term medical conditions including for children living with Congenital Heart Disease.
From September, schools in England will be legally required to provide high quality support to children with a medical condition. The guidance sets out the practical support schools will be expected to provide including having individual healthcare plans in place and training and support for school staff.
CHF are members of the Health Conditions in Schools Alliance, representing over a million children with health needs and called for this new legal protection. While many schools already offer excellent support for children, there are too many examples where children with health needs are prevented from meeting their full educational potential as a result of ill health, bullying, and stigma at school.
Some children also face discrimination in relation to school trips and extra-curricular activities, which means they are effectively excluded from leading a full and active school life. In addition, some schools fail to support the social and emotional implications associated with medical conditions.
CHF with the Health Conditions in Schools Alliance are calling on schools to implement the Government’s new guidance and work with parents, local authorities and health services to help ensure children with medical conditions can get the high quality support they need in school.
Anne Keatley-Clarke, Chief Executive of the Children’s Heart Federation, said: “Going to school can be challenging for many children living with a heart condition. Children maybe be too tired to do a full school day, be restricted in their physical activity or require months off for heart surgery. We urge schools to use the new guidance to recognise and meet the individual needs of pupils with heart conditions, giving them the best opportunity participate to their full potential at school”.
“We want to support parents understand the new guidance so they know what their child’s school should be providing to meet their needs”.