All schools, including free schools and academies, will be required by law to make appropriate arrangements for supporting pupils with long-term health needs. This will be backed by new statutory guidance that will be issued next year.
In the House of Lords yesterday, cross bencher Lord Patel raised CLIC Sargent’s points about the guidance needing to cover the social, emotional and learning needs of children with cancer, and Tory peer Lord Nash agreed that cancer should be covered by the guidance.
CLIC Sargent Chief Executive Lorraine Clifton said: “We are keen to work with the Government so that the new guidance is fit for purpose, and we would like it to take into account all the needs of pupils with cancer, including social and emotional needs. The new statutory guidance also needs to acknowledge that cancer can have long-term effects, which can affect a child or young person’s ability to learn.
“We see this as a vital opportunity to put appropriate guidelines for schools in place. We will continue to influence this and other parts of the Bill so that all pupils with cancer can get the very best out of their education.”
Around 1,600 children aged 0-14 are diagnosed with cancer in the UK each year. In 2012, CLIC Sargent research found that only 56% of parents of children, who have returned to school after period of absence, felt that their child had received sufficient support to enable them to resume as normal an education as possible.