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Education for children with health needs

The local authority and schools have a duty to provide education for your child when they are not able to attend due to identified health needs as outlined in the policy, which you can access from the Downloads section to the right of this paragraph.

This should help your child to receive education while they are unwell for extended periods, including both physical illness and mental health.

These duties are set out in the guidanceEnsuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs (DFE; 2013). 

Parents have a right to express a preference for education in their local school. Liverpool is committed to supporting the inclusion of children with additional needs including health related.

It is important to let schools have some information about your child’s health needs and how this is affecting their attendance and to include any relevant medical letters so they can make referrals or discuss in more detail.

A meeting is likely to take place at this stage or you can request this with school to discuss how best to support your child during their illness.

Who will provide support?

For children who reside in Liverpool support is initially available through schools who may send work home or arrange online learning for your child for a short period of time.

For extended periods of absence and situations when your child is finding it hard to return full time due to their medical needs further support can be arranged via services such as the Alder Centre for Education (ACE).  

The Alder Centre for Education (ACE) and Hospital School - what is it?

ACE provides support on a temporary basis for children who are not able to attend school full time due to health needs, with a goal for future return.

Education support for children with medical needs can be requested by schools in partnership with health professionals, through the Alder Centre for Education (ACE).

Support is delivered through some outreach tuition and on site learning for pupils in KS3 and KS4.

Support is also in place for in-patients at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital and in partnership with Dewi Jones, Sunflower House (mental health facility).

How does the service work?

We will ask some specific questions about your child and their requirements to ensure we find the best match for your family.

ACE can help parents and carers to:

  • Find suitable educational options including a combination of tuition or onsite learning which meet their needs and the needs of their children.
  • Work with the medical services involved including Alder Hey and Mental Health Services, to ensure that your child’s health needs are understood.
  • Work with schools to support your child’s return.

Do I need a referral?

Yes, schools need to make a referral or a health professional


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