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

Guidance for education authorities.

Life threatening and life shortening conditions - additional considerations

49. Children have a continuing entitlement to school education and there are very good reasons for continuing to provide education for children and young people with life threatening or life-shortening conditions, even, with the child or young person's and family wishes respected, towards the end of their lives. Such involvement with children and young people requires particular sensitive, imaginative and empathic qualities and teaching skills. At the same time, most parents and children and young people wish to remain part of their own school community where staff and peers can play a very important part in maintaining quality of life and supporting children and young people with such conditions and their families. Ongoing contact with staff and peers from children's and young people's home schools should be maintained by means agreed with the family.

50. Some children and young people may spend time in hospices. Education in its broadest sense may be an appropriate part of a holistic approach to ensuring their wellbeing while in a hospice. Here also, ongoing contact with staff and peers from children's and young people's home schools should be maintained, by means agreed with the family and the hospice.

51. A small number of school children and young people die every year in Scotland from a range of causes including illness and accident. This is an event which education authorities and schools and ELCC should be prepared to deal with calmly and with respect and empathy. In the case of children with a very serious or life-threatening medical condition there will have to be some time to consider the best ways of supporting the family and of helping the school community to cope. Sensitive support and contact may be appreciated around the time of the funeral and for some time afterwards.


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