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Helping Children Who Need Palliative Care to Access Education

News and comment

A new interactive resource, Helping Children Who Need Palliative Care to Access Education, developed by national charity Together for Short Lives, gives education providers in England the information and support they need to help children with life-limiting conditions. The resource is a comprehensive guide for all types of school, further education and early years providers to help them implement the special educational needs and disability (SEND) reforms for children with life-limiting conditions.

It can be accessed here.

Andrew Fletcher, Director of External Affairs said:

“Children have a right to an education, regardless of their needs or circumstances. For the 40,000 children and young people in England who might need palliative care, education is a crucial factor in determining whether they are able to achieve what they want in their lives. Yet their experience is incredibly varied. Many are not getting the support they need because teachers and early years professionals lack the knowledge and skills to help children manage their conditions at school or college. We have worked with teachers, SENCOs and early years professionals to develop this resource so that children and young people can be better supported to stay in school.”

The downloadable pdf resource acts like a mini website providing governors, heads, SENCOs, classroom teachers, teaching assistants and school nurses with the support they need to be able to work with children who need palliative care.

Welcoming the resource, Ann Sullivan and Julie Chester, Leads for the Lancasterian Outreach and Inclusion Service, Manchester said:

“These are excellent resources that we are happy to recommend to staff in our work with mainstream schools.  The resources give practical advice to schools in tackling what can be difficult issues for parents, staff and pupils.”

The resource is designed to help education providers support children and young people from birth up to the age of 25. Nicky Gibson, Inclusion manager, Pre-school Learning Alliance said:

“Today, more young children than ever start their educational journeys in early years settings. However, sustained cuts to local services have meant that many settings do not have access to the information and practical support needed to provide appropriate care and support to these families. This excellent resource helps bridge that gap, providing practitioners with vital guidance on good practice and the importance of ensuring that the best interest of the child and family are at the centre of all provision.”

The new tool explains principles of good practice, the stages of life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, roles and responsibilities for individuals and why it’s important to get it right. It sets out four key actions for schools and contains a number of useful resources, including information and advice on pre and post bereavement support.

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