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)
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.
There is no legal duty that requires education school staff to administer medication; this is an entirely voluntary role. Every effort will be made to help children to have access to all aspects of school life. In certain cases, specific training may need to be given to school staff about a child’s treatment. This should be discussed with parents and the 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. Parents are asked to 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.
If a child complains of headaches or other pains and requests painkillers, these will only be given on the receipt of a written request from parents and this request must be supported by medical advice with an appropriate health care plan for reasons of safety. Aspirin and aspirin-based products are specifically excluded from school first-aid boxes. The local authority has produced guidelines on the administration of medicines in schools, which are available directly from schools.
The 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. The core programme for health is as follows and parents are encouraged to take this up by giving their consent to each of the procedures listed:
- Selective health care review with the parent and the child (not all children receive this as they are screened for need and seen on that basis);
- Colour blindness but recommend or support pupils to go to the optician;
- Growth screening by the School Nurse in P1;
- Introduction to the School Nurse in S1;
- Health and wellbeing review with the School Nurse in S1;
- Vision screening including colour vision will be offered by the School Nurse in S1;
- Diphtheria, tetanus, polio and meningitis boosters in S3-S6 by the school health team;
- Human papilloma virus (HPV) immunisation offered to girls in S1-S6;
- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) – offered to pupils in S3-S6 who have not been immunised;
- BCG immunisation is offered to those identified as high risk as stipulated by the Scottish Government;
- Flu immunisation offered to all pupils in primary schools P1-P7;
- medical consultation with the School Doctor as required; and
- Other reviews, examination and appointments as necessary and as arranged with parents.