dfeAny child who has specific medical needs should know they have a good support network at school in case of a medical emergency, therefore, the Department of Health and the Department for Education have updated their guidelines for all schools and early years settings.

To ensure that the advice as clear as possible, they have collaborated with other bodies, including the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, and school staff unions.

Many staff would not know what to do if a child had, say, an epileptic fit or asthma attack, so it is vital that certain staff members have been appropriately trained to handle medicines in emergencies. This includes having inhalers and adrenaline pens readily available, not locked away, and knowing how to store medicines safely. Schools also need to have arrangements in place, so a person can be identified as having responsibility should an emergency arise.

There is also a guide on how to recognise certain medical conditions - asthma symptoms, triggers and attacks, as well as diabetes, epilepsy and anaphylaxis. In each, there is a list of symptoms and how to recognise them, what to do if someone has a serious attack, when to call an ambulance, and medicines and control.

To help schools put a plan in place, there is advice on how to draw up a healthcare plan and collaborate with local health services for advice on further training needs.

For more information, download the guidance at: