Supporting staff

During treatment, some pupils need to be away from school for long periods of time while others are able to attend school fairly regularly. This depends on the type of cancer, the treatment they are receiving and how they are responding, and side-effects.

Here are some ways that you can support and communicate effectively with other teachers and colleagues when a pupil in your school is going through cancer treatment:

  • Inform staff sensitively about developments and changes e.g. organise a meeting so that everyone hears important news at the same time. This also ensures that staff know where to get support if they needed.
  • Invite a nurse or other professional, eg a CLIC Sargent Social Worker, or hospital school teacher, to school to explain what’s happening and answer questions
  • Arrange home tuition for the pupil with the local authority's home tuition service if appropriate, following discussions with medical staff or the hospital school
  • Liaise with hospital teaching services to make sure the pupil has appropriate work and to find out how they are getting on
  • Agree changes to school rules and circulate arrangements to all staff, eg a pupil may want to wear a baseball cap, not take part in PE, leave a lesson early, come in part-time or have homework extensions
  • Encourage subject teachers to provide appropriate work for the pupil to fit around treatment and how they are feeling. Teachers can use email and provide online learning so that school work can be flexible depending on where the pupil is learning.

Find out more about briefing staff on how to support a child or young person with cancer.

Updated December 2015. Next planned review 2017.