Trafford has a duty to arrange education for children of compulsory school age who cannot attend school for health reasons. The Medical Education Service can provide interim education for a child whose absence is due to health reasons whilst they are unable to acccess their full curriculum from their school. A referral is usually made when a child has missed 15 days of schooling and is under the care of a medical Consultant who will confirm if the child is not able to access their education in the usual manner. Sometimes a child will be referred before 15 days have elapsed - for example in the case of planned surgery. The 15 days isn't always consecutive and some children may have a recurring illness which requires a different approach during episodes of illness.
As each case is considered on its own merits, a Panel of education, health and social care professionals meets monthly during term time to consider appropriate advice, guidance and support for cases which may sit just outside the above criteria. The Panel also advise on all pupils who are ready to exit any specialist medical provision and transition back into school. The Schools Medical Officer sitting on the Panel, may be called upon where medical reasons are believed to be valid, but Consultant agreement is not available.
Trafford Alternative Education Provision (TAEP) is commissioned to deliver on-site education or Home Tuition as appropriate for pupils who can't attend school for health reasons. Pupils are Dual registered, with their current school coded as Main (M) on the admissions register, and Trafford Alternative Education Provision coded as Subsidiary (S). Schools and parents/carers should contact TAEP regarding pupils who are registered with TAEP.
Our priority is for the well-being of the pupil. Removing pupils from their peer support and familiar environment can sometimes impact negatively on outcomes and, once in a small environment, some pupils find it very hard to transition back to mainstream education. Panel will consider carefully whether removing a child from school for a short period is the best option for the child, or whether there are other sources of support which may enable the pupil to continue their education with adjustments. There are many factors involved, including the nature of the illness and the age of the child.
The Pandemic has meant that Home Tuition has to be paused, but the implementation of Remote Learning has meant that most pupils have been able to continue their education with their school and have not needed to be referred to TAEP. We hope that this will open up more flexible solutions when the Pandemic is over.
There will always be a small number of pupils, where the nature of their illness will mean that they will need a short time away from their school as they start to recover or will need TAEP support to put a Blended Package of education in place to support the pupil.
Where a pupil doesn't meet the criteria for medical education provision, or where there is a more suitable existing pathway, the referrer will be informed and advice, guidance or links to other agencies may be given.
The Virtual Mental Wealth Hub and the SEND Local Offer pages on this site may both be useful sources of advice.
Intermittent/recurring health issues
Where a pupil has a recurring health issue which may flare up, or a series of treatments/surgeries, which interrupts their ability to physically access school, this should be clearly outlined in the pupil's Individual Health Care Plan. The plan should include the details of when this may happen and how it may impact the education, plus all reasonable adjustments the school will offer. Where the child is still unable to access their education this should be referred to Medical Education Panel in the first instance where an AV1 may be offered, and in some circumstances where health needs dictate, a place in the Medical Education Centre. An action plan can be agreed by Medical Education Panel and included in the IHP to cover subsequent flare ups or treatments. In these situations the school would only need to send the IHP updated with the most recent information to the Medical Education inbox and not have to wait for the next Panel to initiate the education support.