Monday, 4 August 2014

Save the Independent Living Fund !

This article first appeared in The Teacher magazine, July/August 2014 edition.

The NUT supports the campaign to stop the Government abolishing the Independent Living Fund (ILF) in June 2015.

The ILF helps 18,500 disabled people with complex needs to live independent lives in the community. Despite Judge Elias in the Court of Appeal speaking of “the inevitable and considerable adverse effect which the closure of the fund will have,” ILF recipients now face losing their care packages, receiving inadequate care in their homes or being forced into residential care.

Take action by emailing your MP, joining the #saveILF Twitter campaign or signing the online petition here.

Asperger in Schools

This article first appeared in The Teacher magazine, July/August 2014 edition.

NUT member Kerry Lound from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire was one of 12 British women with autism who took part in an innovative European project ‘Autism in Pink’ – which explored the way autism affects women.

Kerry was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome in 2011, but kept her condition secret from all but those close to her, for fear of how others would react. After taking part in the project, inspired by other women with autism participating in the workshops, Kerry decided to ‘come out’ and through Facebook made her condition known.

Regarding this move, Kerry says the support and positive reactions from her friends and family has been overwhelming.

“It’s absolutely vital that more teachers are made aware of autism and particularly how the condition affects males and females differently, so they can look for the signs in their students and colleagues and provide the support they need to reach their full potential,” she added. “With the right support at the right time, people with autism can live the lives they choose.”

For more information, please visit: autisminpink.net

Administering Medicines to Pupils: Changes in the rules ?

This letter and its response appeared in the July/August edition of the NUT Magazine "The Teacher":

Q.  I’ve heard that teachers could soon be required to administer medication to pupils, because schools’ legal responsibilities to pupils are changing. Is this true?

A.  No, this is not the case. The law relating to the duties of governing bodies in respect of pupils with medical conditions will shortly change, however, requirements on teachers will not change at all. From September 2014, under section 100 of the Children and Families Act 2014, governing bodies will have a statutory duty to make arrangements for supporting pupils at their school with medical conditions.

Any teacher may be asked to provide support to pupils with medical conditions, including the administration of medicines, but they cannot be required to do so as administering medicines is not part of a teacher’s professional duties. However, teachers should know what to do and respond accordingly in an emergency or when they become aware that a pupil with a medical condition needs help, and follow the procedure outlined in their school policy.

Any teacher who volunteers to support a pupil with medical needs by administering medication should receive sufficient and suitable training and achieve the necessary level of competency before they take on any responsibility to support children with medical conditions.

The new DfE statutory guidance for schools on supporting pupils with medical conditions, following public consultation earlier in the year, can be found on www.gov.uk. This replaces guidance issued in 2005. The guidance covers a range of issues:
  • developing a school policy for supporting pupils with medical conditions
  • the role of individual healthcare plans
  • the roles and responsibilities of those involved in supporting pupils at school
  • staff training and support
  • the administration of medicines on school premises
  • emergency procedures.
More information on this area is set out in the NUT guidance on Administration of Medicine, available by clicking here.