5 September - Safe in schools
5 September 2017, CHF attended a meeting of the Healthcare in Schools Alliance, a group of children’s charities that over the years have pooled their resources and expertise to improve the welfare, education and health of school students.
Currently the Alliance is working on a campaign called Safe in schools and is making arrangements for a Lobby Day at the Houses of Parliament on 23 October during half term week. On this day a group of parents and children with a variety of long term health conditions will meet their MPs and will lobby the cause to ensure that schools have a medical conditions policy and for it to be available to download from the school’s website.
The Alliance campaigned successfully in 2014 for a change in law in England requiring all schools to have a medical conditions policy in place which tells staff how to care for children with long-term conditions, but parents have found that many schools don’t have these policies in place, and aren’t even aware they need to do so.
An investigation by the Alliance this year found the following:
- Only 11.5 per cent of schools in England could provide an adequate medical conditions policy that meets statutory quidance. All should by law have this policy.
- 72 per cent of schools report that Ofsted did not ask about their medical conditions policy during their latest inspection.
- Only 17 per cent of local authorities confirmed that they had a medical conditions policy.
- The Health Conditions in School Alliance is taking the Safe in School campaign to Parliament on 23 October to fight for the rights of children with all medical conditions.
A petition of nearly 7000 signatures will be presented at the Department of Education on October 23rd. It asks for the Minister for Education to write to every school in England, to remind them that they have a legal responsibility to have a medical conditions policy. Also to ask that the school regulator Ofsted look at this during their inspections.
If you would like to attend the lobby day with your heart child and they attend school in England, please email email@example.com for more information. Places are limited.
You can also support the campaign by signing the petition here.
Another way to help is to find your local schools’ website and check if the school has a medical conditions policy posted there (as it should).
If you can’t find the policy on their website, use this template letter to write or email the school. You can request their medical conditions policy and let them know about the Health Conditions in Schools Alliance’s resources to help keep children with medical conditions safe in school.