Children who cannot attend school because of health reasons
If your child has health needs and is unable to attend school regularly, you should, in the first instance, talk to your child’s school.
For children with a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education Health and Care Plan (HCP), you may want to have a discussion with the Council SEND Team.
The council is responsible for ensuring that suitable full-time education (as much as the child's situation will allow) is provided for children of compulsory school age who, because of illness, would otherwise not receive suitable education.
There are circumstances where a child with a health need will be receiving education that meets their needs without the intervention of the local authority. This may be where arrangements have been made for the child to be educated in a hospital by an on-site hospital school.
This provision is commissioned by the council through a contract with the Harlington Area Schools Trust (HAST) for the delivery of this teaching service.
Local Authority Responsible Officer: Andrew Copperwheat, Team Leader for Access and Inclusion
Telephone: 0300 300 6291
Commissioned Services Manager
Telephone: 01525 863910
Medical Needs Coordinator
Website: Harlington Area Schools Trust (link opens in new window) (HAST)
Referrals from schools
Referrals are received from schools to the team and then verified with a relevant NHS practitioner.
Teaching is provided for pupils whose education is disrupted for an initial period exceeding 3 weeks due to:
- an illness or injury keeping the pupil away from school whilst recovering
- an illness or injury requiring regular hospital attendance
- a chronic condition that causes frequent absences from school
- a mental illness requiring therapeutic support and for which the pupil / parents / carers are actively seeking help
Assessing the suitability of provision for a pupil’s SEN
Where a school has concerns about the behaviour of a child with additional needs, or a pupil with a statement of SEN / EHC Plan it should in partnership with others (including the local authority as necessary) consider what additional support or additional placement may be required.
The government’s guidance makes it clear that ‘all pupils of compulsory school age are entitled to a full-time education’ and that part-time timetables should only be used ‘in very exceptional circumstances'.
Schools should be able to demonstrate that there is a time limited plan in place to enable the student to be reintegrated quickly to full-time education, and evidence the plan’s success.
If a pupil needs to be removed from the school for a period of time for disciplinary purposes, the correct exclusion procedures must be followed. If a pupil is sent home in these circumstances it must be recorded as fixed-term exclusion.
Central Bedfordshire has an Inclusion Support Officer, who is responsible for supporting schools and parents in relation to children who have either been excluded from school or are at risk of exclusion. They can be contacted by telephone on 0300 300 6924.
In addition, the CBC SEND Parent and Young Person Partnership Service is able to offer independent advice and support to parents whose children have, or may have, special educational needs.
Telephone: 0300 300 8088