Home tuition and hospital teaching services guidance

Last updated: 31 May 2022

5. School responsibilities

At all times the pupil remains the responsibility of the school where they are on roll.

All schools must have a written policy and procedures for dealing with the education of children and young people with medical needs. This may stand alone, or be incorporated into the school policy on special educational needs.

Each school must designate a named member of staff to be responsible for dealing with pupils who are unable to attend school because of medical needs. Where a pupil is known to have potentially long-term sickness or recurrent bouts of chronic sickness involving periods of absence, the designated teacher should contact the Community Paediatrician in order to discuss the management of continuing education, including referral to the home tuition service if the school hasn’t made other arrangements to deliver suitable education outside of school and this is needed to ensure the child receives suitable education. Through regular communication and forward planning, unnecessary gaps in education can be avoided. In every case, the designated teacher needs to inform parents and carers that other professionals are being consulted about their child’s absence from school. The designated teacher will take responsibility for supplying the home tuition service with information about the pupil’s capabilities, progress and programme of work. The school will be active in the monitoring of progress during absence from school, in liaising with other agencies and in the pupil’s reintegration.

In cases of unpredictable, acute episodes of health needs resulting in absences from school of more than 15 days, the designated teacher should liaise with appropriate medical professionals as soon as possible to establish whether referral to the home tuition service is appropriate.

Schools will ensure that pupils, absent from school because of medical needs, are kept informed about school social events and that they are able to participate as fully as possible in the life of the school, for example in homework clubs, study support and liaising with peers through visits and videos.

A school can only remove a pupil who is unable to attend school because of additional health needs where:

  • the pupil has been certified by the designated school medical officer as unlikely to be in a fit state of health to attend school, before ceasing to be of compulsory school age, and
  • neither the pupil nor their parent has indicated to the school the intention to continue to attend the school, after ceasing to be of compulsory school age. A child unable to attend school because of health needs must not, therefore, be removed from the school register without parental consent and certification from the school medical officer, even if the LA has become responsible for the child’s education. Continuity is important for children and knowing that they can return to their familiar surroundings and school friends can help their recovery and their educational progress.

In particular, it is expected that schools will:

  • liaise with the home tuition service, in particular provide prompt up-to-date information about records of achievement and the curriculum
  • ensure that suitable programmes of work are available to pupils receiving home tuition or hospital teaching, that these are consistent with what the pupil would normally be studying whilst at school and that they take account of the pupil’s views
  • where appropriate, provide resource material to support the programmes of work for the pupil where possible
  • make appropriate contributions to the cost of providing home tuition as outlined in Section 7.3 of this document
  • meet all examination fees on behalf of the pupil
  • make arrangements for 11-plus, National Curriculum Assessments, GCSEs, A/AS levels and any other examinations or accreditations
  • provide the funding for invigilators to ensure completion of any external examinations where it is not possible for the pupil to complete the assessment within the school or PRU. Invigilation of exams will be funded by the school where the pupil is on roll
  • assess coursework
  • maintain contact with the pupil and their family
  • take part in planning and review meetings, especially those called to organise reintegration at school