Chi Onwurah – 2015 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Education

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Chi Onwurah on 2015-11-25.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how the educational needs of young people in mental health facilities are assessed; and what system is in place to ensure that the needs of those patients are monitored and provided for as they change.

Mr Sam Gyimah

Local authorities have a duty to ensure suitable education is in place for children of compulsory school age who would not otherwise receive it. This includes pupils with medical conditions that prevent them from attending a mainstream school. Where pupils are in-patients in medical facilities, this education would in many cases be provided by the facility itself via an on-site hospital school.

In all cases, decisions on the education required should be based on an assessment of the pupil’s needs and in consultation with the pupil, parents, medical practitioners and other relevant professionals. Providers and the local authority must ensure that the education a pupil receives is of good quality, allows them to take appropriate qualifications, prevents them from slipping behind their peers in school and allows them to reintegrate successfully back into school as soon as possible. Monitoring and assurance processes should be established to ensure this quality education is in place and in all cases, effective collaboration between all relevant services is essential to delivering effective education for children with additional health needs.

The Department for Education’s guidance ‘Ensuring a good education for children who cannot attend school because of health needs’ sets out the legal duties and responsibilities of the local authority with regards education for such pupils. It is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/269469/health_needs_guidance__-_revised_may_2013_final.pdf