Healthcare needs in schools guidance consultation: response analysis report

Analysis report summarising those responses received to our consultation on guidance on healthcare needs in schools.


Question 1: Is the information provided in the introduction clearly set out?

Answer No. of respondents % of all respondents*
Yes 57 70
No 14 17
Don’t Know 1 1
No Answer 9 11
Total 81 100

* = percentage totals may not always equal 100 due to rounding

8. A majority of respondents agreed the information provided in the introduction to the guidance was clearly set out. The majority of respondents who were satisfied with the documents clarity provided no further comment.

9. There were 26 respondents who did provide further comment. These comments included asking for a recognition that nursery and special schools should be included too as well as highlighting the importance of attaching equal importance to physical and mental health conditions, with one response specifically highlighting language and communication needs being the most common need experienced by schoolchildren.

10. Those respondents who felt the introduction should be amended highlighted a range of reasons supporting their view. General concerns included the style of language used, with a few respondents noting they felt the complex language was more suited to professionals and that it should be reviewed and potentially simplified, whilst other respondents noted that educational establishments other than state primary and secondary schools should also be highlighted.

11. More specific concerns included the infrequent references to children with disabilities throughout the document; that the guidance should make clearer there are legal obligations for public bodies to support children and young people with healthcare needs in schools, such as through the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2004 [3] , although one response highlighted lack of resources in schools as a potential barrier.

12. There were a number of responses where the same issues were raised in relation to several, or even many, of the chapters in the guidance document.

13. These points referred to the importance and recognising physical health conditions and mental health conditions equally, since positive mental wellbeing plays an important part in engaging with learning; specific reference to seeking more information for children with long-term conditions such as diabetes and asthma; the guidance should recognise children and young people with palliative care needs; and the roles staff and health and educational professionals have in providing healthcare. There was also a sizeable number of responses asking about the role of the named person and what it involves and for consideration of the Equality Act 2010 [4] in relation to the content of various chapters. These points have been referenced here so as not to appear repeatedly throughout this document.

14. On language used within the document, comments suggested providing clarification of what is meant by “reasonable adjustments”, which is referred to throughout the guidance document, plus there is also several requests to consider making the language in the document more user-friendly. There was also various suggestions to consider the use of words such as “may” and “should”, it is suggested the document is reviewed on this point to consider if the context of these words is correct in light of whether there is a statutory requirement involved. Other simplifications suggested including an Executive Summary at the start and a summary table setting out agencies’ duties and responsibilities under the various pieces of legislation referred to in the guidance.


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