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Pupils: Hay Fever

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what work his Department (a) has undertaken and (b) plans to undertake on provision of clinical care to children with hay fever in schools; and what measures are in place to ensure that such children receive appropriate medication during the examination season. (193347)

The Department has no plans to develop the provision of clinical care to children with hay fever in schools.

Schools and their employers have responsibilities towards the health and safety of all staff and pupils, and this may include making arrangements for individual pupils with medical needs, where it is reasonable to do so. There is, however, no legal duty on school staff to manage a pupil’s medicine or support a child’s medical need.

Schools and their employers are responsible for developing their own policies on managing pupils’ medicines and supporting children with medical needs. This should be developed in light of their assessment of local needs and resources.

“Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings”, published in 2005 jointly by the then Department for Education and Skills and the Department of Health, was written to help schools to develop such policies. This guidance suggests that it is good practice to support and encourage children, who are able, to take responsibility to manage their own medicines.

The Joint Council for Qualifications seeks to take into account a range of different conditions and circumstances which can affect performance in examinations. Under present arrangements, candidates who suffer from hay fever on the day of an examination may apply via their examination centre for “special consideration”, which can result in an increase in their marks by up to 2 per cent., depending on the circumstances.