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Children with health needs that cannot attend school policy

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                          Co-op Academy North Manchester

Children with health Needs that cannot attend school Policy


Children with Health Needs that Cannot Attend School Policy

Approved by

Policy Created

September 2021



Update Approved

All policies are available to stakeholders either on the Academy website or upon request from the Academy’s Main office.


This policy aims to ensure that:

  • Suitable education is arranged for pupils on roll who cannot attend school due to health needs;

  • Pupils, staff and parents understand what the school is responsible for when this education is being provided by the local authority.

Co-op Academy North Manchester aims to ensure that all children who are unable to attend school due to medical needs, and who would not receive suitable education without such provision, continue to have access to as much education as their medical condition allows, to enable them to reach their full potential.

Due to the nature of their health needs, some children may be admitted to hospital or placed in alternative forms of education provision. We recognise that, whenever possible, pupils should receive their education within their school and the aim of the provision will be to reintegrate pupils back into school as soon as they are well enough.

We understand that we have a continuing role in a pupil's education whilst they are not in school and will work with the medical professionals, other key professionals such as social services and families to ensure that all children with medical needs receive the right level of support to enable them to maintain links with their education.

Legislation and guidance

This policy has due regard to all relevant legislation and statutory guidance including, but not limited to, the following:

 Education Act 1996

● Equality Act 2010

● Data Protection Act 2018

● DfE (2013) 'Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of

health needs'

● DfE (2015) 'Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions'.

  • SEND Code of Practice (2015)
  • Keeping Children Safe in Education (2022)

The responsibilities of the school

If the school makes arrangements for a child who cannot attend school

Initially, the school will attempt to make arrangements to deliver suitable education for children with health needs who cannot attend school.

The Principal and SENDCo will be responsible for making and monitoring these arrangements.  A meeting will be arranged with parents / carers to discuss arrangements for working from home or hospital.  A plan will be drawn up detailing agreed actions from the discussion, the plan will be signed by school and parents / carers. The plan will then be carried out to deliver education to the child.  

It must be stressed, in accordance with the academy’s attendance policy, National and statutory guidance that a part-time timetable will only ever be considered if this would be the only advisable course of action to support a child where they are medically unfit to attend school for anything other than a short period of time in the school day.  This would be evidenced by medical professionals but the final decision for this course of action would be with the Principal. Where a part-time timetable is in place, it will be for a limited period of time and reviewed regularly to ensure that pupils are supported back into full-time education as quickly as possible.  

If a child is too poorly to attend school, arrangements could include:

  • Setting work remotely on EdClass to ensure a pupil can still receive their attendance marks whilst being taught by a teacher remotely.
  • Setting work remotely via Google Classroom or sending paper-based work home, neither of which would allow pupils to get their statutory attendance marks.
  • Attending a hospital school, which would involve a referral from the academy and acceptance of a pupil being placed on roll by an admissions panel.  

When they are able the pupil will slowly reintegrate back into school.  Special arrangements may be made to support the transition back into the academy such as alternative provision for break or lunch times,  or a reduced timetable with time spent in our Pathways Centres or the Learning Support Hub.   The decision as to when a pupil returns to school will be made by the Principal in conjunction with members of the academy’s pastoral team and relevant health professionals.

If the academy cannot make arrangements for the education of a child with health needs that cannot attend school, a Team Around the Child meeting will be convened by the school.  All relevant professionals including social care and representatives from the Local Authority will be invited to attend and a plan put in place as a result.

The Governing Board and Principal are responsible for:

  • Ensuring arrangements for pupils who cannot attend school as a result of their medical needs are in place and are effectively implemented.
  • Ensuring the termly review of the arrangements made for pupils who cannot attend school due to their medical needs.
  • Ensuring the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the arrangements to support the needs of pupils are clear and understood by all.
  • Ensuring staff with responsibility for supporting pupils with health needs are appropriately trained.
  • Appointing a named member of staff who is responsible for pupils with healthcare needs and liaises with parents, pupils, the LA, key workers and others involved in the pupil's care.
  • Providing teachers who support pupils with health needs with suitable information relating to a pupil's health condition and the possible effect the condition and/or medication taken has on the pupil.
  • Notifying the LA when a pupil is likely to be away from the school for a significant period of time due to their health needs.

The SENDCo is responsible for:

  • Making arrangements for pupils who are unable to attend school because of medical needs.
  • Actively monitoring pupil progress and reintegration into school.
  • Supplying pupils' education providers with information about the child's capabilities, progress and outcomes.
  • Liaising with the principal, education providers and parents to determine pupils' programmes of study whilst they are absent from school.

Teachers, Pastoral, Attendance and SEND Staff are responsible for:

  • Understanding confidentiality in respect of pupils' health needs.
  • Designing lessons and activities in a way that allows those with health needs to participate fully and ensuring pupils are not excluded from activities that they wish to take part in without a clear evidence-based reason.
  • Understanding their role in supporting pupils with health needs and ensuring they attend the required training.
  • Ensuring they are aware of the needs of their pupils through the appropriate and lawful sharing of the individual pupil's health needs.
  • Ensuring they are aware of the signs, symptoms and triggers of common life-threatening medical conditions and know what to do in an emergency. Keeping parents informed of how their child's health needs are affecting them whilst in the school.


  • Parents are expected to abide by the academy’s attendance policy where their child, even if they have medical needs, would normally attend the academy.
  • Absences due to illness will only be authorised under the terms of the academy’s attendance policy.  
  • Where absences are anticipated or known in advance, and are due to health reasons or                 an underlying persistent health condition, the academy may initiate a Team Around the Child Meeting to ensure that the pupil involved does not miss out on their education.  From this meeting, a plan will be put in place as outlined in section 3 of this policy.
  • The school will monitor pupil attendance and mark registers to ensure it is clear whether a pupil is, or should be, receiving education otherwise than at school.
  • A pupil unable to attend school because of their health needs will not be removed from the school register unless there are exceptional circumstances, such as they are at a placement at a hospital school for a prolonged period meaning that the hospital school accepts them on their roll.

Support for pupils

  • Where a pupil has a complex or long-term health issue, the school will discuss the pupil's needs and how these may be best met with relevant professionals, parents and, where appropriate, the pupil. The academy is expected to support pupils with health needs to attend full-time education wherever possible, or to make reasonable adjustments to pupils' timetables  where medical evidence supports the need for those adjustments.
  • The school will make reasonable adjustments according to pupils' individual healthcare                 plans (IHCPs), in accordance with the Supporting Children in the Academy with Medical         Needs Policy.

  • Pupils admitted to hospital will receive education as determined appropriate by the medical professionals and hospital schools  team at the hospital concerned.
  • During a period of absence, the academy  will work with the provider of the pupil's education to establish and maintain regular communication and effective outcomes.
  • Whilst a pupil is away from school, the academy will work with the other professionals to ensure the pupil can successfully remain in touch with their school
  • Where appropriate, the academy  will provide the pupil's education provider with relevant information, curriculum materials and resources.
  • Co-op North Manchester will consider the use of flexi-schooling agreements where this is supported by medical advice and in conjunction with parental requests.  These will detail which subjects pupils will study where pupils would miss lessons in KS4 subjects and at KS4 which subjects parents would need to consider their child a private candidate.  School will inform CAT and SSQA at LA.

Monitoring arrangements

This policy will be reviewed annually by the SENDCo. At every review, it will be approved by the full governing board.

Any changes in the policy will be clearly communicated to all members of staff involved in supporting pupils with additional health needs, and to parents and pupils themselves.


Children who are unable to attend school as a result of their medical needs may include those with:

  • Physical health issues.
  • Physical injuries.
  • Significant mental health and emotional difficulties
  • Progressive conditions.
  • Terminal illnesses.
  • Chronic illnesses.

Links to other policies

This policy links to the following policies:

  • Accessibility plan
  • Attendance policy
  • Child protection and safeguarding policy
  • Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) policy
  • Supporting children in the academy with medical needs policy.