Policy Number: SCS2022011
Date Released: 4 April 2022
Review Date: 4 April 2025
Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) recognises the health and safety of students is critical to wellbeing and learning. Consequently, SCS supports the independence, dignity and privacy of students who require specialised medical assistance.
The purpose of this policy is to assist schools with the management and support of students who require specialised medical assistance, by clarifying the way in which support is to be provided and by defining responsibilities. The intention is to establish the best processes to be implemented to ensure a student’s individual health support needs are met at their school.
This policy also covers those situations where a student requires specialised medical assistance including non invasive procedures.
- This policy applies to SCS staff and parents and carers of students that require specialised medical assistance. In this policy staff means all employees of SCS, members of religious orders engaged in schools, volunteers, trainees, interns and labour hire employees.
- Failure to comply with this policy may lead to disciplinary action including termination of employment of SCS staff.
Notification and Support
Where a student has a specific medical condition that requires regular, specialised medical assistance at school, their parents or carers are to advise SCS in writing at enrolment or as soon as the requirement for specialised medical assistance becomes known.
To ensure the school can support the student, parents or carers are to provide the school with all necessary and relevant information regarding the specialised medical assistance and ensure the information is updated when required.
On receipt of a notification from the parents or carers, the Principal and school leadership team are to contact the SCS Diverse Learning Team for assistance. When assessing the needs of the student, SCS is to ensure close collaboration with the student, their parents or carers, and healthcare professionals, so that appropriate arrangements can be made for the student’s participation at their school and to minimise, wherever possible, any interruption to the student’s education.
Where appropriate, the school will support any specialised medical or nursing service being delivered onsite. This includes making reasonable accommodation for the service, ensuring the dignity and safety of all involved, and adopting appropriate hygiene procedures e.g. safe disposal of waste and using personal protection equipment.
Parents or carers are to meet the cost of any specialised medical or nursing services required for the care of the student. In the case of financial hardship, parents or carers are encouraged to apply to the SCS Catholic Education Foundation for assistance at https://catholiceducationfoundation.org.au/.
The Principal or their delegate will also conduct an assessment, with the assistance of the SCS Diverse Learning Team, of the supports needed to accommodate the student’s needs, such as a review of school facilities and the first aid room to ensure infection protocols are in place.
School staff will not be involved in the provision of any invasive procedure e.g. catheterisation and injections involving a syringe, ordinarily performed by nursing or medical staff.
Health Care Plan
To facilitate the above, a Health Care Plan (reviewed at least annually or when required) is to be developed and retained at the school which addresses the needs of the student while at school, including participation in school activities.
The Health Care Plan:
- is a comprehensive individual plan developed by the Principal and school
leadership team in consultation with parents or carers, SCS staff, the
student (where practicable), and the student’s treating medical/health care
- takes into account the student’s full range of learning and support needs
- includes information about agreed responsibilities of those people involved in
the student’s support, including non-invasive procedures that do not require
Appropriately trained school support staff may perform non-invasive health care procedures on a voluntary basis, in line with the Health Care Plan. Training needs will be determined based on individual circumstances and needs of the student, noting that in most cases training will be provided by the health or treating practitioner team under the supervision of the principal.
Non-invasive procedures 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; and dispensing medication or supervision of a student who self-administers medication.
- Assisted toileting: This includes transfers and positioning support for toileting/ continence support, assisting with self-catheterisation or catheter drainage equipment (urethral or suprapubic) and aerating/emptying a colostomy bag.
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 (e.g. use of gloves and gowns where appropriate) are adequate.
- Suctioning: This includes shallow suctioning (where the catheter passes to the tip of the endotracheal tube) including removal of secretions from the mouth, nose or around the tracheotomy tube (a tracheotomy is a surgically created hole in the windpipe that provides an alternative airway for breathing). This does not include tracheotomy tube changes.
- Tube feeding: Feeding via a gastrostomy (an opening into the stomach from the abdominal wall, made surgically for the introduction of food) or nasogastric (reaching or supplying the stomach via the nose) tube but does not include the tube insertion.
Parents or carers must provide any required equipment in good working order, and any medication and consumables required for the student’s care. Such medication and consumables must not be out of date and should be securely labelled.
If you have any questions about this policy or would like further information, please contact your Diverse Learning Specialist on email@example.com, or by Phone: (02) 9568 8253.
- Policy Number: SCS2022011
- Documents Rescinds/Replaces: TL201701-1.0
- Date Released: 4 April 2022
- Review Date: 4 April 2025
- Policy Type: Operational
- Audience: Public
- Approved by: Executive Director
- Document Owner: Director, Education and Research