Home tuition and hospital teaching services guidance

Last updated: 31 May 2022

3. Home tuition and hospital teaching services

Buckinghamshire Council commissions the Aspire Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) to deliver suitable full-time education (or part-time when appropriate for the child’s needs) to children who are unable to attend school because of their health needs.

This Buckinghamshire guidance document is premised on schools working collaboratively to support the education of children with health needs and an acknowledgement that the sharing of information between schools, health services and the PRU is important. We will expect schools to work with the PRU to ensure that the provision offered to the child is as effective as possible and that the child can be reintegrated back into school successfully. We recognise that parents also have a vital role to play, and encourage schools to have a publicly accessible policy that sets out how they will support children with health needs.

Whenever pupils are referred to Aspire PRU, regular medical guidance will be sought to support the provision of education other than at school. In particular, the PRU will wish to establish whether pupils are able to continue to receive some or all of their education at school. This may apply in particular to pupils with mental health needs, in whose case collaboration will be sought with the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

In order to better understand the needs of the child, and therefore choose the most appropriate provision, the PRU will work closely with medical professionals and the child’s family, and consider the medical evidence, making every effort to minimise the disruption to a child’s education. For example, where specific medical evidence, such as that provided by a medical consultant, is not quickly available, the PRU will consider liaising with other medical professionals, such as the child’s GP, and consider looking at other evidence to ensure minimal delay in arranging appropriate provision for the child.

Once parents have provided evidence from a consultant, the PRU will not request continuing evidence from the consultant without good reason, even where a child has long-term health problems. Evidence of the continuing additional health issues from the child’s GP will be seen as sufficient. In cases where it is felt that a consultant’s on-going opinion is absolutely necessary, parents will be given sufficient time to contact the consultant to obtain the evidence.

3.1 Hospital tuition

Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust provides hospital health care for children at Stoke Mandeville Hospital and the LA provides education for children admitted to the paediatric ward and National Spinal Injuries Centre through the hospital teaching service provided by Aspire PRU.

In some cases, where a child is hospitalised other than at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, the host hospital may provide education for the child within that hospital and the LA would not need to arrange any additional education, provided it is satisfied that the child is receiving suitable education.

With planned hospital admissions, LAs should give the relevant hospital school or hospital teaching service as much forewarning as possible, including the likely admission date and expected length of stay. This allows them to liaise with the child’s school and, where applicable, with the LA about the programme to be followed while the child is in hospital.