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Policy for Supporting Children with Medical Conditions

Barrow U.R.C Primary School - Policy for Supporting Children with Medical Conditions

1. Introduction

Barrow Primary School considers itself a caring and responsible school. We believe that all children should have successful and fulfilling lives and we want to ensure that our pupils with medical conditions and those that take medicines can and do participate fully in all aspects of school life.

2. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set out effective arrangements to support children with medical conditions and those who take medicines in school. This document must be read in conjunction other relevant policies (e.g. Barrow Primary School Health and Safety Policy, Emergency Plan and Child Projection Policy). For information relating specifically to the management of asthma, see Barrow School Asthma Guidance

3. Definition

For the purpose of this policy, the term parent refers to any person with parental authority over a pupil (i.e. a parent, legal guardian or carer)

4. Responsibilities

The Headteacher is responsible for:

  •  Ensuring staff follow this policy on a daily basis. This includes when activities take place off-site.
  •  Ensuring that appropriate procedures are in place and are followed by school staff so they are competent to provide support to pupils taking medicines.
  •  Ensuring that this policy is reviewed on an annual basis in line with local and national guidance and legislation.
  •  Ensuring that all children with medical needs have an Individual Healthcare Plan in place and these are monitored regularly.
  •  Ensuring that appropriate risk assessments are undertaken.
  •  Ensuring that staff have access to information regarding school’s indemnity insurance for staff providing support to children with medical conditions and those who take medicines.
  •  Ensuring that this policy is implemented effectively
  •  Ensuring that there is effective communication with parents, children, staff and relevant healthcare professionals concerning a pupil’s medication or medical condition.
  •  Ensuring all new staff receive a copy of this policy on induction.
  •  Ensuring all staff have access to appropriate training so they can effectively support children with medical conditions and those who take medicines.
  •  Ensuring appropriate levels of staff are in place so that a trained member of staff is always available to support a child with a medical condition or taking medicines.

School Staff are responsible for:

  •  Maintaining professional standards of care and ensuring that children are safe.
  •  Ensuring they attend regular medicines training and receive support relevant to their responsibility.
  •  Being aware of any children in their class who have a health condition or are taking medicines.
  •  Being aware of the potential triggers, signs and symptoms of common medical conditions and knowing what to do in an emergency.
  •  Maintaining confidentiality with regards to a child’s medical condition.
  •  Maintaining accurate records of any medicines administered to a pupil.
  •  Being conversant with this policy.

School Administrators are responsible for:

  •  Ensuring the day to day maintenance and security of all medicines stored in the first aid cabinet and School Office.
  •  Maintaining accurate records of medicines stored in the first aid cabinet and School Office.
  •  Ensuring the supply, storage and disposal of School’s supply of inhalers and spacer devices.
  •  Checking any long term medication held in school annually for expiry dates and returning to parents to dispose of accordingly.
  • Parents are responsible for:
  •  Supplying school with up to date accurate information regarding their child’s condition and medication. This must be in the form of a completed proforma (Appendix 1 for information about any medicines, Appendix 2 Individual Healthcare Plan for information about any medical conditions)
  •  Notifying school immediately of any changes to their child’s medication or medical condition.
  •  Where appropriate, informing school of the timings of any previous doses of medicine that have been given.
  •  Ensuring that school is supplied with in date medication and associated equipment (e.g. sharps bin) as per procedures within this policy.
  •  Carrying out any action that has been agreed as part of a child’s Individual Healthcare Plan.
  •  Informing School about any medication or support their child requires while taking part in out-of-school activities.
  •  Collecting any medicines held in school at the end of each academic year.

Supply staff are responsible for:

  •  Being aware of how to access support for a child with a medical condition or taking medicines. Supply staff do not administer medicines at Barrow School

Designated Members of Staff for Asthma are responsible for:

  •  Overseeing school’s asthma procedures

At Barrow School, there are two "Designated Members of Staff for asthma" who have specialist training and knowledge in asthma– see Asthma guidance for further information.

School Nurse is responsible for:

  •  Providing support to staff on implementing a child’s Individual Healthcare Plan and providing advice and liaison where appropriate ( e.g staff training)

External Providers (e.g. Sport’s Coaches, Out of Hours clubs) are responsible for:

  • Following this policy and associated procedures for activities undertaken during school hours. (For activities undertaken outside of school hours, the external provider’s staff will follow their own organisation’s policies and procedures and ensure appropriate risk assessments are made).
  • Ensuring they attend regular training relevant to their responsibility.

The Governing Body is responsible for

  •  Ensuring that Barrow School has a policy for supporting pupils with medical conditions and this is reviewed regularly.
  •  Ensuring the appropriate level of indemnity insurance is in place to cover staff providing support to pupils with medical conditions and those that take medicines.
  •  Ensuring appropriate arrangements are in place in school to support pupils with medical conditions or who need to take medication.
  •  Ensuring the Headteacher effectively implements all aspects of this policy

5.Staff Training

Regular training is provided to staff by the school nurse or first aid trainer. This includes;

  •  How to use this policy
  •  How to recognise the symptoms of common medical conditions
  •  How to check if a child is on the school medical register
  •  How to administer a child’s medication
  •  How to accurately record usage of medication
  •  How to recognise when emergency action is necessary
  •  How to respond appropriately to a request for help from another member of staff.
  • When a child enters school with specific medical needs, staff will receive the appropriate training as advised by the school nurse or other healthcare professional.

6. Records

At the beginning of each academic year or when a child joins school, parents will be asked to complete the appropriate paperwork (Appendix 1 for information about medicines, Appendix 2 for information about any medical conditions). This information will then be added to the school Medical Register.

Medical Register

The School Medical Register includes information about all of the pupils in each class with a medical condition and any Individual Healthcare Plans that they have. Copies are kept in each classroom, and the main School Office. External providers such as sports coaches also have a copy with the Medical Register when they are working in school.

Medicine Administration Records

School staff keep a signed record of all medicines administered to individual children. These records are kept in a secure location in the School Office and a copy is also given to the parent. The record includes the following;

  •  Name of pupil
  •  Name of medication given
  •  Dosage of medication given
  •  Date and time of administration
  •  Name of member of staff who administered/ supervised the administration of the medication

Emergency Medication

When an emergency medication is used (e.g. an inhaler or Epipen), the information above is recorded and in additional information about where and when the situation occurred (e.g. PE lesson, playground, lunchtime, classroom). A record is also given to the parent.

Individual Healthcare Plans

Individual Healthcare Plans are confidential documents that help to ensure school effectively supports pupils with medical conditions (see Appendix 2). Copies of a child’s Individual Healthcare Plan are held in their classroom and also in the School Office.

Individual Healthcare Plans are completed by the parent and include details of:

  •  A child’s medication including any side effects to which they may be predisposed.
  •  Any allergies
  •  Name of GP involved with their care
  •  Trigger factors/ pre-activity precautions
  •  Details of any special educational needs
  •  What to do and who to contact in an emergency

When a child has complex medical needs, an Individual Healthcare Plan will be drawn up in conjunction with the school nurse or other healthcare professional.

Individual Healthcare Plans are reviewed at least annually or more frequently when there is a change in a child’s medical condition.

External providers such as sports coaches also have copies of Individual Healthcare Plans when they are working in school.

Controlled Drug (CD) Records

School staff maintain a record of all CDs brought in to and removed from school premises. These records are kept in the School Office (See Appendix 5)

7. Medication and medical equipment

Parents must provide school with a supply of in-date medication in a container or plastic folder labelled with the child’s name and class. Unlabelled medication containers will not be accepted.

Prescription medicines must be supplied in their original container*, and have been dispensed by a Community Pharmacy. The medicine container should have a visible expiry date and storage information, and be clearly labelled with the following;

  • The child’s name
  • The name of medicine
  • The dose and frequency of medication
  • The date of dispensing by the Community Pharmacy
  • Where possible a Patient Information Leaflet must also be supplied.

*The exception to this is insulin, which will generally be available to schools inside an insulin pen or a pump, rather than in its original container

Non-prescription medicines such as Calpol® , antihistamines, herbal preparations and cough syrups will not usually be administered by school staff, however in exceptional circumstances and only when authorised by the Headteacher, these medicines will be administered. Non- prescription medicines must be supplied in their original container and include information regarding dosage, expiry date and storage.

Medicines and medical equipment must be handed to the School Office or class teacher on entry in to school premises

Only reasonable quantities of medication should be supplied to school (e.g a maximum of four weeks supply at any one time).

Liquid Medicines

Parents must supply school with a medicine measuring cup, spoon or oral syringe to allow for accurate measurement of the dosage of medicine.

Controlled Drugs (CDs)

Methylphenidate (Ritalin®) is a Controlled Drug and as such is subject to certain legal regulations. At Barrow Primary School methylphenidate and other Controlled Drugs are stored the first aid cabinet in the disabled toilet room. A log of all CDs entering and leaving school premises is maintained by the school office (See Appendix 5)

Staff’s Own Medicines

Any medicines brought into school by staff e.g. headache tablets or inhalers for personal use will be stored in an appropriate place and kept out of the reach of pupils. Any staff medicine is the responsibility of the individual concerned and not school.

8. Administration of Medicines

Medication should normally be administered at home before a child comes in to school. Medicines should only be administered at school when it would be detrimental to a child’s health or school attendance not to do so. Staff will only administer medication with the written parental consent.

When giving medication to a child, the staff member will ensure that they follow the appropriate procedure and check the following information;

  •  Name of pupil
  •  There is a valid consent form from the parent(Appendix 1)
  •  Any written instructions provided by the parents
  •  The prescribed dose written on the child’s consent form and where appropriate the Pharmacy label
  •  Expiry date of the medication
  •  The Individual Healthcare Plan if in place

Staff are not permitted to deviate from instructions on the label of a medication. If there is any doubt the medicine will not be administered and staff will contact the parents for advice before taking further action.

Emergency Medicines

When conditions require immediate emergency treatment (e.g. asthma or anaphylaxis), trained staff will volunteer to administer medication. See also Barrow School Asthma guidance

Self Administration

At Barrow Primary School a child may administer their own medicines (where appropriate) but not usually carry their own medicines. Pupils who self-administer their medicines will ask a member of staff for their medicines supply when it is needed.


If a child refuses to take a medicine, staff will not force them to do so. Parents will be contacted to inform them of the situation.

9. Storage

All general medicines are kept in a locked cupboard in the first aid cabinet in the school disabled toilet room The key to this cabinet is kept on a hook in the School Office key cupboard.

Exceptions to this procedure are:

  •  A child’s personal supply of asthma medicines must be immediately accessible at all times, therefore these are kept in the bottom drawer of the teacher’s desk in the child’s classroom.
  •  Adrenaline for emergency use is kept out of reach of children on a shelf in the School Office.
  •  Barrow School’s own supply of emergency salbutamol and spacer devices are stored in a cupboard in the School Office.
  •  Medicines requiring refrigeration are stored in the school staffroom fridge which is maintained at a temperature between 2 and 8C. The medicines are kept segregated from other items in the fridge in an airtight container labeled with the child’s name and class

10. Disposal

Child’s Own Supply

Parents are responsible for collecting medicines no longer required and arranging for safe disposal at the Community Pharmacy. Medicines that are still needed but have expired or been used must be collected and replacements supplied to school as soon as possible.

School’s Supply of Asthma Inhalers

School’s supply of expired or empty inhalers is returned to the Community Pharmacy as per school’s waste disposal regulations. (see Barrow School Asthma Guidance for further information )


Sharps bins are used for disposal of needles and other sharps. The responsibility for supplying these items lies with parents.

11. School Trips and Off-site Activities

All children with medical conditions and those taking medicines have access to all activities and areas of school life. A risk assessment will be undertaken to ensure that the safety of staff and children is maintained at all times. Where appropriate, adjustments will be made to enable children with medical conditions to participate fully and safety in activities (See Appendix 3).

Before any off site activity takes place, a member of staff will liaise with the parent to determine whether it is necessary for medication to be administered during the trip (i.e. whether a medicine can be taken before or after the trip). Where it is not possible to reschedule a dose, the original container of medication will be taken out on the visit. The supervising member of staff will ensure;

  •  Sufficient medication for the duration of the trip is available
  •  Any medications needed have been signed out of school and are signed back in on return.(Appendix 4)
  •  Where a child has an Individual Healthcare Plan , this is available
  •  Medicines are stored securely for the journey and for the duration of the school visit.

Staff attending any off-site activity are aware of all pupils with medical conditions. They receive information about the type of condition, what to do in an emergency and any other additional support necessary, including any additional medication or equipment needed.

12. Infectious Diseases

Barrow school will not put any child at unnecessary risk from infectious diseases. Therefore we do not accept a child into school at times where it would be detrimental to the health of that child or others to do so. Staff follow Public Health England Guidance on infection control in schools and other childcare settings to advise on the period of time a child needs to be kept off school. This document can be accessed via

13. Fabricated Illness

All staff working in school receive training on the appropriate action to take where fabricated illness is suspected.

Where a member of staff suspects a case of fabricated illness, this will be communicated to the Headteacher who will liaise with the school nurse and other professionals in the Local Authority Children’s Social Care Team to safeguard the welfare of the child. Concerns about fabricated illness will only be disclosed to the parents after discussion with the Local Authority Children’s Social Care Team and only then if it is decided that sharing information will not place the child at increased risk of harm.