The Health Conditions in Schools Alliance
The Health Conditions in Schools Alliance represents the needs of more than one million children with health conditions such as migraine, asthma, anaphylaxis, diabetes and heart disease for which they may require extra support at school. A number of charities, including Diabetes UK and Migraine Action, are members of the Alliance.
The issues children and families face
While many schools provide very good support, far too many do not. Examples collected by the Health Conditions in Schools Alliance show:
- A lack of training and understanding is putting the well-being, health and even lives of children at risk.
- Some children with health conditions are not able to reach their potential in school because their needs are not being properly addressed.
- Children are often excluded from lessons and trips and even for months at a time because of a lack of support.
- Some parents have to give up work or reduce their hours to provide care in schools for their children.
Migraine Action hears all too often from parents whose children are being excluded unnecessarily and whose future may be put at risk through lack of health management at school.
Whilst there is agreement across Government and political parties that too many children with health conditions are not getting the support they need in school and this is a problem that must be addressed, there is continued debate on how to best see improvements made.
The Children and Families Bill - currently going through Parliament, presents an ideal opportunity to place simple and clear duties on schools to provide the support children with health conditions need in school and the Alliance is campaigning for this to be the case.
The Government have previously stated that children with health conditions are offered legal protection by the 1989 Children's Act, the 2002 Education Act and 2010 Equality Act. In addition, guidance to schools on managing health conditions is due to be re-published before the end of 2013. However, non statutory guidance has failed too many children for too many years. The Government has not explained how this new guidance will ensure schools offer the appropriate support when guidance alone has failed in the past.
By placing duties on schools in the Children and Families Bill we can give schools a simple explanation of their specific responsibilities and duties to children with health conditions.
We will continue to update you progress of the Bill and the general campaign.
If you have experienced difficulties in managing your / your child's migraine at school or getting the support you believe you need, we would be interested to hear your experience. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org