Public consultation is to be recommended on proposals to increase the education provided to children and young people who can’t attend school because of medical needs.
North Yorkshire County Council is reviewing its medical education service with the aim of ensuring equality across the county for all children and young people absent from school for medical reasons, whether that’s their physical or mental health. Executive members for the council’s Children and Young People Service will be asked next week (30 July) to approve a public consultation, which would begin in September.
The proposals offer an increased range of options, including digital solutions, personal home tuition and group education, which is currently available only to secondary school pupils. This would enable a flexible, bespoke package to be created for each child. Regular meetings with pupils, their families, health professionals and schools would ensure a pupil and family-centred approach that reflected the child’s needs.
Cllr Patrick Mulligan, Executive Member for Education and Skills, said: “These proposals on which we are considering consulting aim to provide joined-up solutions to minimise any disruption to a child’s education and to enable the earliest possible return to school for many pupils. They would see greater involvement of health professionals and schools to create a more bespoke range of options dependent on the need of the individual child or young person.”
The proposed service would also be available to children with special educational needs and disabilities that have an additional medical need and that attend special schools, are in post-16 education or are in education with an education, health and care plan up to the age of 25.
Cllr Mulligan added: “These proposals are about strengthening our provision and our accountability as a local authority in ensuring pupils’ needs are being met. They set out to improve the range of the education and the number of hours on offer to young people requiring medical tuition, with the aim of reducing the time missed due to absence from school.”
Currently, provision is delivered through enhanced mainstream schools and pupil referral units.