Guidance for professionals supporting children with cancer

CLIC Sargent has developed guidance for professionals supporting children with cancer to help them better understand the policy landscape and to identify ways to ensure that children with cancer receive the educational support that they need. 

Government policy

The government’s policy intention is that all children, regardless of circumstance or setting, should receive a good education. This includes children with medical conditions.

After being diagnosed with cancer, children may receive education in a range of settings:

  • They may attend school with some support
  • If they cannot attend school they may be educated in a medical alternative provision setting or in a hospital school
  • Or they may intermittently attend school and receive education in a medical alternative provision setting, at hospital or at home

Recent policy changes

There have been a number of recent changes to education policy in England, which impact children with medical needs.

As a result of the Children and Families Act 2014, which came into force in September, schools are required to develop an Individual Healthcare Plan for children with a medical condition.

These plans should capture the steps which a school should take to help the child manage their condition and overcome any potential barriers to getting the most from their education. The Act also introduced significant reforms for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Helping implement these changes

CLIC Sargent wants to see schools meeting their new and existing duties, so we have produced a briefing note to provide an overview of both new and existing education policy in England relevant for children and young people with cancer. 

It aims to draw upon the key pieces of statutory guidance and provide practical information for professionals supporting children with cancer to ensure that children receive a good education, regardless of their circumstance or setting.

In partnership with others, we have also developed a visual guide to help schools identify the steps they should take to ensure children with medical needs receive the support that they need when learning in a hospital school or at home, as well as when they return to school after a period of illness. When using this visual guide it is important to also make note of the relevant policy context.

We have also developed an exemplar policy statement for local authorities, to help them document their arrangements to comply with the legal duty to provide suitable education for pupils with health needs. To find out more about our work on this issue please see our press release from 2013.  

Find out more

For more information about CLIC Sargent's campaign work, please contact our team by emailing: campaigns@clicsargent.org.uk.

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