The report draws on existing research into primary school education and cancer and the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) Teacher Voice survey.
We conducted in-depth interviews and focus groups with 22 young people about their experience of keeping up with their education whilst being treated for cancer and the challenges they faced on returning to school.
Our report found that not providing young people with the extra support they need after treatment for cancer could jeopardise their education and prevent them from fulfilling their potential. And nearly four out of 10 (38%) secondary school teachers said there was not enough information or guidance to support a pupil with cancer.
Evidence showed that:
- the education that young people with cancer receive in hospital schools and at home could better meet their needs
- communication between a young person with cancer, their family and school is vital and should start as soon as they are well enough to learn
- tailored support when a young person returns to school following a period of illness can make a real difference to their future education and development
- young people with cancer fear they may have to retake the academic year and will be left behind.
What does CLIC Sargent do to help?
Our social workers liaise with schools and hospital school staff to help young people keep up with school work during their treatment. Our nurses and social workers help children when they return to school, including supporting teachers with information and advice, and visiting schools where this is possible.
We also provide vital information and resources to support children with cancer in education including materials for teachers and schools about the support children with cancer need.
CLIC Sargent continues to work with policymakers and schools to help ensure children and young people who have experienced cancer receive the support they need to access education.
We have developed guidance for professionals to help them to identify ways to ensure that children and young people with cancer receive the educational support that they need. Working in coalition with other children and young people’s charities we have helped to influence a number of policy developments.
How you can help
- help us provide vital support to young people dealing with these challenges through our nurses and social workers
- enable us to expand and improve the resources we provide to parents and schools to help them support children and young people with cancer
- help us to share good practice with schools and others.