St.Peter's is a Voluntary Aided Catholic Primary School, near the centre of Stalybridge, a former cotton town situated at the foot of the Pennines. The school stands in a quiet, pleasant area, opposite the church and next to a park.
Medicines in School Policy
Aims and Objectives
- to ensure that children requiring medicines receive the support they need consistent with Every Child Matters
- to ensure that everyone, including parents, is clear about their respective roles
- to put in place effective management systems to help support individual children with medical needs
- to ensure that medicines are handled responsibly
- to ensure that all school staff are clear about what to do in the event of a medical emergency
Children with medical needs have the same rights of admission to school as other children. Most children will at some time have short-term medical needs, perhaps entailing finishing a course of medicine such as antibiotics. Some children however have longer term medical needs and may require medicines on a long-term basis to keep them well, for example children with well-controlled epilepsy or cystic fibrosis. Others may require medicines in particular circumstances, such as children with severe allergies who may need an adrenaline injection. Children with severe asthma may have a need for daily inhalers and additional doses during an attack.
Most children with medical needs can attend school regularly and take part in normal activities, sometimes with some support. However, extra care may be needed in supervising some activities to make sure that these children, and others, are not put at risk.
Parents have the prime responsibility for their child's health and should provide school with information about their child's medical condition. Parents should obtain details from their child's General Practitioner (GP) or paediatrician, if needed. The school nurse or a health visitor and specialist voluntary bodies may also be able to provide additional background information for staff.
Short -Term Medical Needs
Many children will need to take medicines during the day at some time during their time in school. This will usually be for a short period only, perhaps to finish a course of antibiotics or to apply a lotion. To allow children to do this will minimise the time that they need to be absent. However, such medicines should only be taken to school where it would be detrimental to a child's health if it were not administered during the school day.
Long-Term Medical Needs
It is important to have sufficient information about the medical condition of any child with long-term medical needs. If a child's medical needs are inadequately supported this may have a significant impact on a child's experiences and the way they function in or out of school. The impact may be direct in that the condition may affect cognitive or physical abilities, behaviour or emotional state. Some medicines may also affect learning leading to poor concentration or difficulties in remembering. The impact could also be indirect; perhaps disrupting access to education through unwanted effects of treatments or through the psychological effects that serious or chronic illness or disability may have on a child and their family.
The Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice 2001 advises that a medical diagnosis or a disability does not necessarily imply SEN. It is the child's educational needs rather than a medical diagnosis that must be considered.
School needs to know about any particular needs before a child is admitted, or when a child first develops a medical need. For children who attend hospital appointments on a regular basis, special arrangements may also be necessary and a written health care plan for such children, involving the parents and relevant health professionals needs to be developed.
Staff in charge of children have a common law duty of care to act like any reasonably prudent parent. Staff need to make sure that children are healthy and safe. In exceptional circumstances the duty of care could extend to administering medicine and/or taking action in an emergency. This duty also extends to staff leading activities taking place off site, such as visits, outings or field trips.
**There is no legal duty that requires school to administer medicines.
**Only medicines prescribed by the Doctor can be administered.
** Only authorised staff may routinely administer medicines, except in emergencies.
Parents should hand over medicines to the appropriate member of staff - Mrs Chadwick, Mrs Kempster, Mrs Paul or Mrs Summersgill so that they may be stored safely. The medicine should be clearly labelled with the child's name and dosage instructions, and the medicine should only be given to the named child.
Members of the school staff cannot be required to administer medicines. Where members of staff have agreed to administer medicines, only one member of staff should be responsible for this to avoid the risk of double dosing, but always witnessed by a second adult - Mrs Chadwick and Mrs Kempster or Mrs Paul. The administration of drugs should be routinely entered into the Drug Record Book.
Inhalers are to be kept in an inhaler bag in class and the child should have immediate access to it.
Staff authorised to give medicines to a child should check:
- the child's name
- prescribed dose
- expiry date
- written instructions provided by the prescriber on the label or container.
If in doubt about any procedure staff should not administer the medicines but check with the parents or a health professional before taking further action.
If staff have any other concerns related to administering medicine to a particular child, the issue should be discussed with the parent, if appropriate, or with a health professional attached to school.
If a child refuses to take medicine, staff should not force them to do so, but should note this in the records and follow agreed procedures below or those contained in an individual child's health care plan.
Parents should be informed of the refusal on the same day. If a refusal to take medicines results in an emergency, school's emergency procedures should be followed.
Parents should tell school about the medicines that their child needs to
take and provide details of any changes to the prescription or the support required. However staff should make sure that this information is the same as that provided by the prescriber.
Medicines should always be provided in the original container as dispensed by a pharmacist and include the prescriber's instructions. In all cases it is necessary to check that written details include:
- name of child
- name of medicine
- method of administration
- time/frequency of administration
- any side effects
- expiry date
Procedures for managing 'Prescription Medicines' which need to be taken during the school day
Medicines should only be taken to school when essential; that is where it
would be detrimental to a child's health if the medicine were not administered during the school 'day'. School can only accept medicines that have been
prescribed by a doctor, dentist, nurse prescriber or pharmacist prescriber. Medicines should always be provided in the original container as dispensed by a pharmacist and include the prescriber's instructions for administration.
**School should never accept medicines that have been taken out
of the container as originally dispensed nor make changes to dosages on parental instructions.
Please note:.Medicines that need to be taken three times a day should be taken in the morning, after school hours and at bedtime. Therefore school will only administer medicines if the dose frequency requirement is 4 times or more a day. Alternatively parents may wish to come into school to administer their child's medicine themselves. School is not responsible for remembering to give a child medicine during the day; although we will endeavour to ensure that this happens. Parents may phone school as a reminder if the child is not considered mature enough to remember at what time they need to take their medicine.
Procedures for managing prescription medicines on trips and outings
Children with medical needs should be enabled to participate in safely managed visits School needs to consider what reasonable adjustments are needed to enable children with medical needs to participate fully and safely on
visits. This will always include a risk assessment for such children.
Sometimes additional safety measures may need to be taken for outside visits.
It may be that an additional supervisor, a parent or another volunteer might be needed to accompany a particular child. Arrangements for taking any necessary medicines will also need to be taken into consideration. Staff supervising excursions should always be aware of any medical needs, and relevant emergency procedures. A copy of any health care plans
should be taken on visits in the event of the information being needed in an emergency.
If staff are concerned about whether they can provide for a child's safety, or the
safety of other children on a visit, they should seek parental views and medical advice from the school health service or the child's GP.
Procedures for managing prescription medicines when participating in sporting activities
Most children with medical conditions can participate in physical activities and
extra-curricular sport. There should be sufficient flexibility for all children to follow in ways appropriate to their own abilities. For many, physical activity can benefit their overall social, mental and physical health and well-being. Any restrictions on a child's ability to participate in PE should be recorded in their individual health care plan. All adults should be aware of issues of privacy and dignity for children with particular needs.
Some children may need to take precautionary measures before or during exercise and may also need to be allowed immediate access to their medicines such as asthma inhalers.
Staff supervising sporting activities should consider whether risk assessments are necessary for some children, be aware of relevant medical conditions and any preventative medicine that may need to be taken and emergency procedures.
Roles and responsibilities of staff managing administration and supervising the administration of medicines
Staff who are responsible for administering prescribed medicines to a child should have appropriate training and guidance. The type of training necessary will depend on the individual case.
Safe storage of medicines
Large volumes of medicines should not be stored. School should only store, supervise and administer medicine that has been prescribed for an individual child. Medicines should be stored strictly in accordance with product instructions (paying particular note to temperature) and in the original container in which dispensed. Staff should ensure that the supplied container is clearly labelled with the name of the child, the name and dose of the medicine and the frequency of administration. This should be easy if medicines are only accepted in the original container as dispensed by a pharmacist in accordance with the prescriber's instructions. Where a child needs two or more prescribed medicines, each should be in a separate container. Non-healthcare staff should never transfer medicines from their original containers.
School's medicines will be stored in the office or if required, in the staffroom fridge. Medicines will be placed in containers, clearly labelled and out of reach of children.
Children should know where their own medicines are stored and who is to administer their medicine. The Headteacher is responsible for making sure that medicines are stored safely. All emergency medicines, such as asthma inhalers and adrenaline pens, should be readily available to children and should not be locked away.
St Peter's is a Catholic Primary School situated in the Diocese of Shrewsbury and is maintained by Tameside Education Authority. As a Voluntary Aided School, the Governing Body is the Admissions Authority and is responsible for taking decisions on applications for admissions.
For the schools year commencing September 2003, the Governing Body has set its planned admissions number at 30 (but of these places 90% will be reserved for Baptised Catholic children, as agreed between the Governors and Tameside Education Authority. This may mean that some such places are not taken up but they will nevertheless remain reserved for baptised Catholic children. The Governors have taken this action to protect the denominational character of the school.)
ADMISSION TO THE SCHOOL will be made by the Governing Body in accordance with the stated parental preference subject to the following set of ADMISSIONS CRITERIA forming a priority order where there are more applications for admission than the school has available.
1. Baptised Catholic children from the parish of St. Peter's, Stalybridge.
2. Children who have a brother or sister at the school at the time of admission.
3. Baptised Catholic children from other parishes.
4. Non Catholic children whose parents wish them to attend and have sympathy with the ethos of the school.
a) All applicants will be considered at the same time and after the closing date for admissions which is 31st January.
b) All Catholic applicants will be required to produce baptismal certificates.
c) It is the duty of governors to comply with class size limits at Key Stage One.
d) If category (1) is over subscribed, children who satisfy (1) and (2) will have priority over children who satisfy only (1). Subsequently if in any category there are more applications than places available, priority will be given on the basis of relative proximity and ease of access to the school, taking into account the availability of alternative Catholic and, for non Catholics, Community Schools.
e) The Governing Body reserve the right to admit children with proven and exceptional medical and social needs where admission to the school might best help satisfy those exceptional needs, providing that such application is submitted with appropriate evidence or reports from a doctor or social worker.
f) If an application for admission has been turned down by the Governing Body, parents can appeal to an Independent Appeals Panel. This appeal must be sent in writing to the Clerk to the Governors at the school with 14 days of refusal. The parents must give their reasons for appealing in writing and the decision of the Appeals Panel is binding on the Governors.