What is the legal position and responsibilities of the school?
In 2004 the Council for Disabled Children published “The Dignity of Risk” which contained advice from The Royal College of Nursing as to which procedures could be safely taught and delegated to non-health qualified staff. These include administering prescribed medication, stoma care and catheterisation. This list has been updated since then for “Including Me” (2005) and further updates have continued. There are also more complex invasive procedures that can and should only be carried out by medically qualified staff – such as the assessment of care needs, planning care programmes, and evaluating their outcomes, re-insertion of nasogastric tubes, use of syringe drivers, re-inserting indwelling catheters that have fallen out. The 1995 Code of Practice for Schools: Disability Discrimination Act (part 4) sets out what is meant by disability discrimination and the need to make reasonable adjustments so as to avoid placing pupils with disabilities at a substantial dis-advantage compared to other pupils.
The new 2014 special educational needs reforms in the Children and Families Act (Part 3) includes children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
In June 2014 the Department for Education issued statutory guidance for governing bodies, “Supporting Children with Medical Conditions in School” (statutory guidance for governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of academies in England) which clarifies the duties of schools towards meeting the requirements of children with medical needs. It also sets out what it describes as “Unacceptable practice” (p.19) such as expecting or requiring parents to come into schools to give children prescribed medication, or change them if they are incontinent. The document also provides a template for individual health care plan and links to relevant reports and documentation.