Type: Policy

Policy Number: TL201701-1.0
Version: 1.0
Updated:  October 2017


Students with Disability and Additional Learning Needs e-Handbook (internal)

The health and safety of students is critical to wellbeing and learning and is important to schools. Principals, staff, parents/carers, healthcare professionals and students all have a role to play in the effective support of students’ health needs.

This policy is designed to assist schools with the management and support of students requiring specialised medical assistance. It ensures that there is clarity regarding the manner in which such support is to be provided and defines the responsibilities of the various parties, whose cooperation is required in order to ensure such support is effectively provided. The aim is to determine the best way possible for students’ individual health support needs to be met in the context of their particular school.

There are a range of tasks that can be performed by appropriately trained School Support Staff. These include the provision of first aid, non-invasive health care procedures and dispensing medication. This policy covers the situations where a student requires specialised medical assistance including insertion of tubes and indwelling catheters. Such procedures would ordinarily be performed by nursing or medical staff.


Parent/carers are the primary carers for a student with high medical and/or health needs.


Parents and carers are an integral part of the support provided to their child.


Schools are primarily educators of students.


Any plans for medical assistance should endeavour to minimise the disruption to a student’s involvement in the school.


Schools, wherever reasonable and practicable, will support and enable parents in delivering care for these students.


Schools will be guided by medical practitioners, health services, other relevant agencies and local community resources in meeting the health needs of students.


Schools will support reasonable and practicable measures for these students on a non-discriminatory basis.


Schools support the independence, dignity and privacy of students in supporting and administering specialised health procedures.

This policy applies prior to enrolment of a student who requires specialised medical assistance, or if a student’s condition has changed upon commencement.


Where a student has a specific medical condition that requires regular, specialised assistance (specialised medical assistance) at school, the parents must advise in writing at enrolment, or in the case of a student whose medical situation changes, as soon as the requirement for specialised medical assistance becomes known.


Where a student requires specialised medical assistance, the school and parents will seek access to support from Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) and from healthcare professionals, so that appropriate arrangements can be made for the student’s participation at their school.


Where NSW Health Service is unable to provide specialised medical or nursing services these must be met from parent’s funds (in the case of financial hardship parents may apply to the SCS Catholic Education Foundation for subsidisation).


The school will support any specialised medical or nursing service being delivered onsite, including making reasonable accommodation for the service, ensuring the dignity of all involved and adopting appropriate safety and hygiene procedures e.g. safe disposal of waste.


A Health Care Plan must be developed and retained at the school. The plan needs to include information about agreed responsibilities of different people involved in the student’s support.


School staff must not be involved in invasive procedures e.g. catheterization.


Where support is non-invasive and does not require specialist assistance, school staff with authorised training/instruction can be made available to provide assistance. This is on a voluntary basis.


Any procedure that is non-invasive and does not require specialist assistance will be managed in accordance with the Archdiocesan Diverse Learning eHandbook.


Responsibility of School:


Ensure that any interruption to the education of the student is minimised as far as possible.


Review facilities such as the First Aid room to ensure infection protocols are in place.


Conduct a risk assessment in conjunction with the Leader of Learning: Special Education, to inform the Health Care Plan.


Collaborate with the treating medical/health professional to develop a comprehensive Health Care Plan signed off by all contributors to the plan including the medical/health professional.


Notify the Consultant, Diverse Learning Team Leader and Head of Diverse Learning, on receipt of verbal advice or information from the parent/carer (and confirmed in writing), that the student requires specialist medical assistance.


Responsibility of appropriately trained School Support Staff:


There are a range of tasks that can be performed by appropriately trained School Support Staff. These include the provision of first aid, non-invasive health care procedures and dispensing medication . School support staff may perform non-invasive health care procedures in accordance with a Health Care Plan developed by the student’s treating practitioner.


Responsibility of Parents/Carers


Parents/carers must meet the cost of specialised medical or nursing services required for the care of the student.


Parents/carers must provide all necessary and relevant information regarding specialised medical assistance and must ensure that such information is updated on a regular basis.


Parents/carers must provide the equipment, medication and consumables required for the student’s care and ensure that regular re-supply occurs. Medication and consumables must not be out of date and should be securely labelled.


Parents/carers will provide consent/authorisation for the school to contact the relevant medical/health practitioner.


Responsibility of SCS


In consultation with the Principal and the Head of Diverse Learning, the Diverse Learning Team Leaders will review and evaluate the on-going needs of the student.


The Diverse Learning Team Leader will keep the Director informed in relation to any emerging issues.


Responsibility of the Treating Medical/Health Professional


Collaborate with the school and parents to develop a comprehensive Health Care Plan signed off by all contributors.


The exercise of discretion is the responsibility of the Head of Diverse Learning in consultation with the Director.


Where parents/carers apply for financial assistance from SCS, determination of the application will be made in line with the procedures of the Catholic Education Foundation.



Clean intermittent catheterisation involves passing a small catheter, or tube, via the urethra several times a day. Catheterisation is an invasive procedure. Upper primary and secondary students can often manage to self-catheterise at school and require only an appropriate facility with an adult nearby for reassurance. There is no need for sterile techniques as standard precautions are adequate.


First Aid

This includes the delivery of first aid and dispensing of medication to students or supervision of a student who self-administers medication.


Health Care Plan

Addresses the needs of the student in the context of the school and the activities in which the student will be involved. Planning must take into account the student’s full range of learning and support needs.

Where practical, the Health Care Plan is developed in consultation with the parent, staff and student, and based on information from the student’s doctor.


Non-Invasive Health Care Procedures

These include the provision of first aid as a conservative treatment that does not require any incision, insertion into the body or the removal of tissue. Examples include:


Assisted toileting: This includes transfers and positioning support for toileting/continence support. This includes assisting with self-catheterisation or catheter drainage equipment (urethral or suprapubic) and aerating/emptying a colostomy bag. This does not include the insertion of an indwelling urinary catheter.


Suctioning:This includes shallow suctioning including removal of secretions from the mouth, nose or around the tracheotomy tube. This does not include tracheotomy tube changes.


Tube feeding: Feeding via a gastrostomy or nasogastric tube but does not include tube insertion.


Specialised medical assistance

Can only be provided by appropriately qualified medical or nursing professionals.


Related policies


Supporting documents


Policy Number:TL201701-1.0


Version: 1.0

Last modified: October 2017

This policy supersedes all previous policies relating to matters contained therein. In so much as any aspect of this policy may appear to be in conflict with another Archdiocesan system or school-based policy, then precedence is to be given to this policy.


Audience: Public


Review by: October 2020

Changing laws, legal precedents, and experience may all serve as triggers for immediate review.


Originally approved by Leadership Team: 13 August 2015

Review approved by Leadership Team: 12 October 2017


Endorsed by SACS Board: N/A


Originally approved by Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools: 11 September 2015

Review approved by Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools: 17 October 2017


Commencement Date: 15 September 2015 (reviewed 2017)