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Administration of Medication to Pupils

Below are the procedures for supporting pupils with medical needs and who may require medication during school hours.

Short Term Medical Needs

Children with short term illness who, whilst well enough to attend school, still require to take treatment. If it is at all possible parents should arrange the timing of treatment, such that it is only taken at home, i.e. before and after school and possibly at lunchtime if the child goes home for lunch. Parents should be encouraged to ask the prescribing doctor or dentist about this.

Long Term Medical Needs

Children with long term medical conditions (e.g. asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis), who require either regular medication to control their condition and/or occasional treatment during attacks or relapses.

Administering Medication

Every effort will be made to help such children to gain optimal access to all aspects of school life. In certain cases specific training of staff about a child's treatment may need to be given to the teaching staff. This should be discussed with parents and School Health Team (School Nurse and Doctor.) If appropriate it is helpful for a school to draw up a written health care plan involving parents and relevant health care professionals.

Depending on their maturity, it will usually be appropriate for older children to carry their own medication and be responsible for its use. It is essential, nevertheless, that parents ensure the school is informed of this. In many conditions, and in particular when a child requires inhaled treatment for asthma, pupils are requested to provide a reserve inhaler/supply of medication to be kept in a secure place in school. This means children will not suffer unnecessarily should they forget or run out of their medication. Such reserve medications should be renewed as appropriate.

In all cases where a child requires medication to be given in school, parents should provide precise written instructions on the amount and frequency of dosage, and signed authorisation to administer such medication.

Please note that there is no legal duty that requires education school staff to administer medication; this is a voluntary role.

Parents or guardians have prime responsibility for their child's health and should provide schools with information about a child's medical condition.

If a child complains of headaches or other pains and requests painkillers, these will not be given to children in schools for reasons of safety.

Note: Aspirin and aspirin-based products are specifically excluded from school first-aid boxes.

The Education Authority is empowered to encourage the medical examination of pupils attending one or all of their schools through the school health team employed by NHS Grampian. The school health team includes the School Nurse and Doctor, working in close liaison with teachers and other health professionals. Parents are encouraged to allow their children to take part in the core programme for health.

For further information on the administration of medication, please contact the council at the address below.

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  • Aberdeen City Council
    Marischal College
    Broad Street
    AB10 1AB
    Phone: 01224 522 000