UNISON and the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) are calling for urgent action to protect children and young people with health needs in schools.

UNISON and the RCN published the results of a survey of over 2300 school support staff and registered nurses. The survey reveals a worrying picture. Despite many examples of good practice, a growing number of children and young people with increasingly complex health needs are being put at risk as staff are being pressurised into caring for them without enough training, supervision and support.

Two-thirds of registered nurses who oversee health care provision in schools say that specialist care plans are not always in place for pupils with health needs.

The majority of school support staff do not receive regular training, and some report never having any training at all before being expected to provide health care support to pupils.

And nearly one in five support staff say they feel forced to take on the responsibility for administering medicines or healthcare procedures as they did not want to let children down.

A full report of the survey results, as well as a joint statement from UNISON and the RCN, are available via the links below:

Supporting pupils with health needs in schools - RCN and UNISON survey 2012
Link: http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/21163.pdf

Providing support for children and young people with health needs in schools - a joint statement from the RCN and UNISON
Link: http://www.unison.org.uk/acrobat/20539.pdf