“We set out below a range of information about current Department for Education consultations on restraint and school transport and about a range of issues over support for pupils with medical conditions. Please share this information widely, including with schools.”
1. Government consultations on restraint and school transport
There are two current DfE consultations that may be of particular interest to SEND stakeholders, one on restraint and one on school transport (for pupils aged up to 16). We are keen to have as healthy a response rate as possible to these consultations. Please do help us to draw these consultations to the attention of anyone with a potential interest and encourage people to respond. This will help to ensure that the decisions to be taken by Ministers following these consultations are informed by consideration of the full implications for pupils with special educational needs, disabilities and/or medical conditions.
1.1 Consultation on restraint
In June the Department for Education (DfE) published, jointly with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), non-statutory guidance on reducing restraint and restrictive intervention in health and social care services and special education settings. The guidance aims to help settings adopt a preventative approach to supporting children and young people whose behaviour challenges as a result of learning disabilities, autistic spectrum conditions or mental health difficulties.
The publication sets out relevant law and guidance and provides a framework of core values and key principles to support a proactive approach to supporting children and young people who have behaviour that challenges; and a reduction in the need to use restraint and restrictive intervention.
At the same time, the DfE published a consultation to gather views on whether there is a need for guidance on reducing restraint and restrictive interventions for mainstream schools, mainstream post-16 settings and Alternative Provision; and whether guidance should apply to a wider cohort of children and young people with SEND.
The consultation closes on 17 October 2019.
1.2 Consultation on school transport for pupils aged under 16
The Department for Education also has a live consultation about updating the statutory guidance for local authorities on home to school travel and transport (for pupils aged under 16). (There is separate guidance about transport for post-16 students.)
Please help raise awareness of the exercise and encourage responses from those with an interest in the implications for pupils with SEND or medical conditions.
School transport generally is clearly of major importance to pupils with SEND. In addition, specific issues touched on in the guidance and the consultation document include:
• travel training;
• behaviour during travel; and
• support during travel for pupils with medical conditions.
The consultation closes on 31 October 2019.
2. Support for medical conditions
Set out below is information for schools about:
• preparation for any No Deal Brexit affecting medicines and medical supplies;
• the availability of emergency Adrenaline Auto-Injector devices and defibrillators; and
• the roll out of the new Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme for boys.
2.1 A potential No Deal Brexit – contingency planning over medicines and medical supplies
The government is working closely with the NHS and its suppliers to help ensure that supplies of medicines and medical devices can continue to flow into the UK without significant delays if the UK were to leave the EU without a deal. Schools should continue with their normal arrangements for medicines and medical supplies to support pupils with health conditions.
If schools have any concerns about being able to meet statutory duties relating to SEND, health and safety, or safeguarding, they should work with their local authority or academy trust to ensure there are robust contingency plans in place.
For more information read the guidance on planning for a possible no-deal Brexit: information for the health and care sector.
2.2 Medical supplies/medicines available to schools
Please do help raise awareness of the following arrangements that can help with schools’ response to medical emergencies. Schools will wish to consider taking up the options over these potentially life-saving devices.
2.2.1 Anaphylaxis: Adrenaline Auto-Injector devices
Since autumn 2017 schools in England have been able to buy adrenaline auto-injector (AAI) devices from a pharmacist without a prescription for emergency use on children who are at risk of anaphylaxis but whose own device is not available or not working. Government guidance to help schools is at Guidance on the use of adrenaline auto-injectors in schools.
The guidance advises schools on the supply, storage, care and disposal of AAIs, including ensuring on a monthly basis that:
• AAIs are present and in date, and
• replacement AAIs are obtained when expiry dates approach.
Schools and other education settings are encouraged to purchase a defibrillator as part of their first-aid equipment. Schools and other education settings can access a deal with the NHS Supply Chain to buy defibrillators at a reduced cost. Government guidance on buying, using and installing automated external defibrillators is at Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in Schools.
2.2.3 Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine programme for boys
As of 1 September the HPV vaccine is now being offered to boys (as well as girls), as part of the routine schools based schedule.
A Vaccine Update special on HPV was published in July 2019: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/818215/PHE_Vaccine_Update_HPV_special_July_2019.pdf
Further information for parents of year 8 children and the children themselves can be found at: