Illness and your child's education

Academies (unless they are only for pupils between 16 and 19 years old), maintained schools and pupil referral units should support children with medical conditions.You can ask to see the school’s policy on supporting pupils with medical conditions.

If your child has a medical condition

You or a healthcare professional should tell the school if your child has medical needs. If your child has a disability, the school must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to make sure they are not discriminated against.

If your child gets sick at school

By law, schools have to provide a space for:

  • treatment of sick or injured pupils
  • first aid or medical examinations

This is usually 2 separate rooms, both with a sink and access to a toilet.

If your child cannot go to school

If your child cannot attend because of illness or injury, your school and local council will provide support to make sure their education does not suffer.

The school’s role

The school should:

  • let the local council know if your child is likely to be away from school for more than 15 school days
  • give the local council information about your child’s needs, capabilities and the programme of work
  • help them reintegrate at school when they return
  • make sure they are kept informed about school events and clubs
  • encourage them to stay in contact with other pupils, for example through visits or videos

The local council’s role

If your child’s going to be away for a long time, the local council will make sure they get as normal an education as possible. This could include arranging:

  • home teaching
  • a hospital school or teaching service
  • a combination of home and hospital teaching

The local council must make sure your child continues to get a full time education - unless part time is better for their health needs. The local council should also:

  • have a senior officer in charge of the arrangements and a written policy explaining how they will meet their responsibilities
  • make sure your child is not without access to education for more than 15 school days
  • arrange education from the start of your child’s absence if it’s clear they are going to be away from school for long and recurring periods

For further information: