Education of children unable to attend school due to ill health: guidance

Guidance for education authorities.

Ministerial Foreword

Every child has a right to an education. The Scottish Government wants all children and young people to be able to get the most from the learning opportunities which are available to them, so that they can realise their full potential in learning, in work and in life.

Through Getting it Right for Every Child ( GIRFEC) and Curriculum for Excellence ( CfE), the Government has set out its ambition for children and young people, and for their learning. An important part of our approach is the recognition that all children and young people are individuals and that their learning is personalised. To enable them to reach their full potential some pupils need additional support. The Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 will support this and further the Scottish Government's ambition for Scotland to be the best place to grow up, putting children and young people at the heart of planning and services.

For children and young people unable to attend school or take up their entitlements to Early Learning and Childcare ( ELCC) through ill-health, a number of responsibilities and powers are given to a range of organisations and people, including education authorities, health services and parents, and the pupil, to ensure that these children's individual needs are met. This relies on the mutual knowledge and understanding of these responsibilities and a willingness to work collaboratively to ensure the best possible outcomes for each individual child.

The purpose of this guidance is to set out the legislative and policy context and to provide advice on the roles and responsibilities of local authorities, hospitals and other services in relation to children unable to attend school due to ill health, to ensure that these children continue to learn whenever possible. While this guidance is non-statutory, it may be used to form the basis of agreements and arrangements between local authorities and other services across Scotland involved in meeting the educational and health needs of children and young people.

This guidance was developed by the Scottish Government in partnership with a working group comprising representatives from the Association of Directors of Education in Scotland, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, NHS Scotland, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People, Scottish Council of Independent Schools, Action for Sick Children Scotland, Education Scotland, National Parents Forum for Scotland and Hospital and Outreach Teaching Services. I thank them for their contributions in developing this guidance.

Dr Alasdair Allan
Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages


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