How to support pupils with long-term health problems

Read our article that appeared in the tes magazine on 9th August 2019.

MNIS project:  Frequently Asked Questions for Schools 

We have collated some of the questions about the project which we hope will give further information

How can my school become involved?

In November 2017, Oxfordshire schools were invited to formally partner with our project:  as a result, we are delighted to be working closely with 15 schools.   If you did not sign up to become a partnership school, you can still become involved.  The training programme will offer a range of practical ideas that are applicable to supporting children with both mental and physical health needs and will be open to all schools, partnership or not.   It is important to note that you do not need to have children currently at your school who are not accessing education because of their medical needs.

Will the project cover mental health?

We are aware that there are currently other projects in the county focusing on mental health in depth. This project will have lots of information and ideas which are applicable to mental and physical health and should complement other projects. It will not replace the need for the child to access mental health services if needed and will not interfere with advice and support provided by these services.

Will it provide advice on risk assessment for medical needs / advice on if our support is making the medical needs better / worse?

Yes, if appropriate to do so. Partner schools will have access to our consultation line, however any school will be able to access our online support by contact our Outreach Teaching Service in the usual ways.   We believe that this project will help you develop good pathways and networks to get the information and support you need. If appropriate, direct support will be given. For other cases it might mean helping you liaise and get the right information from other professionals already involved in supporting the child.

What long term impact will the project have?

We will make available templates, support and guidance that can be used in your school. This will help minimise you having to start from scratch with paperwork, and to disseminate best practice across your school. We will publish the results of the project and make the training more widely available.

Will it provide advice for individual children?

Yes, if appropriate to do so. Partnership Schools will have access to our consultation line. This will help schools develop good pathways and networks to get the information and support they need. If appropriate, direct support will be given. For other cases it might mean helping the school liaise and get the right information from other professionals already involved in supporting the child, or to support referrals to more appropriate teams. Through the training, Partnership Schools will be equipped to develop holistic Individual Healthcare Plans for children with medical needs, as per Department for Education guidance. A small number of children who would be eligible for receiving a service from Children’s Psychological Medicine will receive a bespoke and more intensive service than standard care, to ascertain what gold standard practice looks like for children with significant needs.

How will the project link with other services?

We are aware that there are currently other projects and services which the project aims to complement. A large part of the project will be to enhance existing pathways and to improve communication between services. This project will have lots of information and ideas which are applicable to mental and physical health and should complement other projects. It will not replace the need for the child to access other services if needed and will not interfere with advice and support provided by these services. We hope to meet with relevant services to increase opportunities for joint working and networking – please do get in touch with us on mnis@ohs.oxon.sch.uk to discuss further.

What do I do next?

Contact us, by email, at mnis@ohs.oxon.sch.uk for further information.

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