Home tuition and hospital teaching services guidance

Last updated: 31 May 2022

2. Statutory duties and guidance, the key points

2.1 Supporting pupils at school with medical conditions: statutory guidance for governing bodies of maintained schools and proprietors of academies in England (December 2015)

  • pupils at school with medical conditions should be properly supported so that they have full access to education, including school trips and physical education
  • governing bodies must ensure that arrangements are in place in schools to support pupils at school with medical conditions
  • governing bodies should ensure that school leaders consult health and social care professionals, pupils and parents to ensure that the needs of children with medical conditions are properly understood and effectively supported
  • governing bodies should ensure that all schools develop a policy for supporting pupils with medical conditions that is reviewed regularly and is readily accessible to parents and school staff. This policy should cover the role of individual healthcare plans
  • individual healthcare plans should be developed with the child’s best interests in mind and should capture the steps which a school should take to help the child manage their condition, overcoming any potential barriers to getting the most from their education
  • where the child has a special educational need identified in a statement or EHC plan, the individual healthcare plan should be linked to or become part of that statement or EHC plan. Where a child has SEN but does not have a statement or EHC plan, their special educational needs should be mentioned in their individual healthcare plan
  • where a child is returning to school following a period of hospital education or alternative provision (including home tuition), schools should work with the local authority and education provider to ensure that the individual healthcare plan identifies the support the child will need to reintegrate effectively

2.2 Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs: Statutory guidance for local authorities (January 2013)

Local authorities must:

  • arrange suitable full-time education (or as much education as the child’s health condition allows) for children of compulsory school age who, because of illness, would otherwise not receive suitable education
  • suitable provision means suitable to the child’s age, aptitude, ability and any special educational needs that he or she may have
  • provision should be “full time” unless the pupil’s condition means that full-time provision would not be in his or her best interests. Although “Full-time education” is not defined in law, it should equate to what the pupil would normally have in school. If they receive one-to-one tuition, for example, the hours of face-to-face provision could be fewer as the provision is more concentrated

Local authorities should

  • provide such education as soon as it is clear that the child will be away from school for 15 days or more, whether consecutive or cumulative. They should liaise with appropriate medical professionals to ensure minimal delay in arranging appropriate provision for the child
  • ensure that the education children receive is of good quality (as defined in the Alternative Provision January 2013 statutory guidance), allows them to take appropriate qualifications, prevents them from slipping behind their peers in school and allows them to reintegrate successfully back into school as soon as possible
  • address the needs of individual children in arranging provision. ‘Hard and fast’ rules are inappropriate: they may limit the offer of education to children with a given condition and prevent their access to the right level of educational support which they are well enough to receive. Strict rules that limit the offer of education a child receives may also breach statutory requirements
  • where full-time education would not be in the best interests of a particular child because of reasons relating to their physical or mental health, LAs should provide part-time education on a basis they consider to be in the child’s best interests. Full and part-time education should still aim to achieve good academic attainment particularly in English, Maths and Science.