If a child or young person is unable to attend school for a while because of a medical or mental health problem, we will, in consultation with parents and other professionals, seek an alternative way of maintaining their education. We may offer individual or small group tuition for pupils who are too ill to access full time mainstream education or are making the transition from hospital back to school. This alternative provision would normally take place at the Moncrieffe Site. Only in exceptional circumstances, dictated by the child’s medical condition, will tuition take place in the home.
The aim of alternative educational provision is to reintegrate these pupils into full time mainstream or special education at the earliest opportunity. In the interim, there is a need to ensure access to quality education, for opportunities for working in partnership with other agencies e.g. CAMHS, EPS and systems for maintaining links with the Sheffield Futures Service.
Pupils referred to the Becton Hospital and Outreach Team must be ‘medically unfit’ to attend mainstream school, either as a result of issues relating to illness, or as a result of issues relating to mental health.
If the child is medically unfit, the LA has a statutory responsibility to provide education during the period of treatment.
If this is the case, the Local Authority requires a letter from a Medical Consultant which:
- States that the child is medically unfit to attend school
- Gives an indication of how long the child will be medically unfit to attend school
- Outlines the treatment plan
The Consultant letter is the first step in the LA identifying that the statutory requirement to provide education should be planned and implemented.
In order for the decision to be made that Becton Hospital and Outreach Team is statutorily necessary, the Head of Becton School will consider the request from a Consultant.
Consultant letters indicating a child is medically unfit to attend school should be sent to:
In all cases, Becton Hospital and Outreach Team intervention is to be seen as temporary, pending reintegration to mainstream education or integration to a Special School following the statementing/EHCP process.
The pupil will remain on the roll of the school, and there will be a reintegration plan which should be drawn up jointly by the Becton Hospital and Outreach Team and school in consultation with the family, pupil and other agencies and where appropriate will involve the school nurse.
Where relevant, a reintegration plan should be linked to a child or young person’s EHC plan or individual healthcare plan.
The reintegration plan should include:
Previous reintegration strategies
Input from parents, professionals and pupil
A programme of small goals leading up to reintegration
Clearly stated responsibilities and support of all those involved
Details of social contacts including the involvement of peers and mentors during the transition period
Some children do find it difficult to return to their own school particularly those children who have had mental health problems. This policy sets out ways in which this can be facilitated:
Forward planning and effective and flexible collaboration between Becton Hospital and Outreach Team, the child's school, medical personnel, allied health professionals, parents/carers and other agencies.
Liaison whilst the child or young person is in hospital or attending a home teaching centre
Keeping in touch with the young person while they are out of school e.g. e-mails, text messages, phone calls from classmates and staff to keep pupils up-to-date with the day-to-day happenings at their school. Letting them know about school events and helping them feel they are still part of the school community.
Part of the individual child’s reintegration approach may include a flexible timetable utilising strategies such as part-time attendance or Alternative Provision. Becton Hospital and Outreach Team will provide expertise on the likely success of potential strategies and facilitate schools to explore options as part of the review process.
Progress towards reintegration will be discussed at review meetings.
*** was off school from January 2015 with depression. We had an incredibly challenging time getting her diagnosed, the support we needed and on the right medication. The Learning Mentor's role was clearly to help her make the transition back into school which she started on a very part time basis in the autumn of 2015.
*** has developed a phobia of crowds and this made it more difficult starting back. The Learning Mentor has a fantastic personality and bonded with *** straightaway. She manages to strike just the right balance between between friendly, supportive but also firm and encouraging. With the Learning Mentor's help, *** gradually increased her time at school and returned full time in July 2015. Since then she has been absolutely fine and is thriving at school - despite having missed 15 months she's doing really well and is in the top set for Maths and Science.
My husband and I are very clear that without your help we wouldn't be where we are now. The Learning Mentor was there to support her during break times and helped her overcome her phobia of crowds. She had a major part to play in *** regaining her confidence and her health.