Schools must support students with long-term conditions

ChildAsthma Schools may soon be required to offer support to students with long-term medical conditions thanks to a new proposal by the Secretary of State for Education.

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, has proposed an amendment to the Children and Families Bill that would require all schools to make provisions for students with ongoing medical issues, including many who depend on regular medication.

While many schools already offer support for students who suffer from conditions such as asthma or diabetes, the Bill will ensure that all schools adhere to statutory guidelines and make it their “duty” to ensure they take reasonable action to support their students.

It is hoped that this amendment will offer both parents and children the reassurance of knowing the correct support is in place as well as achieving “better educational outcomes” for the children involved.

Various charitable organisations have welcomed the amendment, with Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK, saying: "We can’t overstate the importance of the Government putting a duty on schools to support children with medical conditions.”

The amendment will be debated at the House of Lords committee stage of the Children and Families Bill. If passed, the Government intends to work with health organisations, schools and parents to draft guidelines before a public consultation in the New Year.