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Supporting students with health conditions can be challenging but ultimately most educators find the experience very rewarding. The Department of Education and Training Victoria (DET) Curriculum Continuity Policy clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of schools and educators when a student is unwell.
The school or kindergarten in which the student is enrolled retains responsibility for the student’s curriculum when they are in hospital or recuperating at home.
For students with health needs, schools must:
Educators should consult the DET guidance website for more information of how to support students during transition between hospital, home and school.
Educators can help to manage the impact of a health condition or illness by developing an Individual Education Plan. This plan will need to be reviewed at different stages of the student's illness or treatment so that goals and expectations can be adjusted as required.
For more information about individual education plans, please consult the Department of Education and Training website.
Making fair and reasonable adjustments to a student's workload, learning environment, curriculum and attendance will make it possible for the young person to continue their education while managing their health condition. Adjustments may include:
Ongoing and effective communication is an important way to keep students engaged and connected to their learning environment.
Develop a communication plan so that educators and school staff know how and when to make to contact with families and students.
With support and encouragement from their school, students can still undertake some or all of their senior studies while managing a health condition. Schools should take steps to ensure students have every chance to succeed in their senior years.
A health support plan must be completed for each student with an identified health care need other than anaphylaxis. The plan outlines how the school or education setting will support the student’s health care needs. The plan is completed in consultation with parents/guardians and guided by medical advice.
Consult the Department of Education and Training Health Support Planning guidelines for more information, including guidance regarding the four stages of developing a Student Health Support Plan.
Ensure that students with a health condition have access to all of the available student support staff within the school or education setting. Every school has a key contact responsible for potential referrals, consultations or student wellbeing issues so it is worth meeting with them to discuss the student's eligibility. Students and families should be introduced to relevant student support staff and assisted to access these services as required. Student support services can include:
Also consider the role that different staff members can play within the school community and include them in the student's support team if appropriate. Additional support people might include:
Consult the Department of Education's Student Support Services Handbook for more information.
Students may be eligible for the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD) funding as a result of their illness or health condition. A student's educational needs may have changed or increased when they return to school after a period of illness and treatment in hospital. The Disability Standards for Education 2005 apply to all students with disability, regardless of eligibility under the PSD, and it is essential that effective educational planning and support be undertaken for every student with disability.
The PSD provides funding to assist schools to support eligible students with disability and high needs who attend government schools.
Consult the Department of Education PSD guidelines or your school PSD coordinator for more information.