Complex Medical Needs

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Purpose of this policy

To enable students needing complex medical care to attend school.

Policy

Schools must:

  • develop a Student Health Support Plan for students needing complex medical care
  • designate staff to provide complex medical care.

Complex medical care definition

Complex medical care often requires school staff to undertake specific training to meet the student’s individual health needs. These needs cannot be addressed through basic first aid training and staff may be involved in:

  • tracheostomy care
  • seizure management
  • medication by injection or rectal suppository
  • administering suction
  • tube feeding
  • specialised medical procedures.

Provision at school

The department does not expect or require teachers in general to provide complex medical care.  When it is agreed that specialised medical procedures may be needed to enable a student to attend school then:

  • designated school staff must receive specific training to allow them to meet the student’s individual health care need
  • the Student Health Support Plan should:
    • be guided by medical advice received by the student’s medical practitioner via the Department’s Medical Advice Form
    • describe specific training requirements
    • include procedures that make use of local medical services such as ambulances, local doctors, health centres, hospitals and community nurses when practical.

See: Health Care Needs within Related policies

Support

This table lists the assistance available to schools to support students needing complex medical care.

Program or service Description

Program for Students with Disabilities

Provides additional resources to schools with students whose health conditions meet the World Health Organisation definitions of disabilities.

See: Program for Students with Disabilities

Student Support Service Officers including Visiting Teacher Service

Student Support Service Officers are available to assist students in government schools and include speech pathologists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, youth workers, curriculum consultants, visiting teachers.

Contact: Department’s region see: Department Regions  

The Visiting Teaching Service provides educational support to students with a disability or other health impairment in regular school settings. The streams of expertise are:

  • physical disabilities or impairments
  • hearing impairment
  • vision impairment.

Referrals of students to the SSSO services require parent/guardian consent and can be made by:

  • principals and teachers
  • parents/guardians
  • hospitals
  • medical agencies
  • child and allied health professionals
  • community agencies.

Schoolcare program

Provided by Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) and funded by the department, to:

  • enable students with complex medical needs to safely attend school
  • provide teachers and Education Support (ES) staff child-specific training, monitor and support from nursing staff, in consultation with a student’s, parents/guardians and the medical/health practitioner.

See: Schoolcare program below.

Condition Specific Organisations

  • Epilepsy Foundation of Victoria
  • Asthma Foundation Victoria
  • Victorian Continence Resource Centre

See:  Other resources

Schoolcare program

This table describes the Schoolcare program.

Stage Description

1

The principal or parent/guardian obtains a referral form see: Department resources

2

The principal, with parent/guardian:

  • completes the referral form
  • attaches the supporting medical documentation
  • returns the information to the Department via:

Schoolcare Program
Resources Coordination Group
Wellbeing, Health and Engagement Division
Department of Education and Training
GPO Box 4367
Melbourne 3001

Or scan and email to schoolcare.program@edumail.vic.gov.au

3

The Schoolcare Program coordinator, in consultation with RCH assesses eligibility and then notifies the nominated school contact. The school notifies the parents/guardians of the referral outcome.

4

The Schoolcare Program coordinator arranges a suitable training time and date and allocates a Schoolcare Program Service Provider.

5

The Schoolcare Program Service Provider then allocates a RCH Nurse.

6

The RCH Nurse coordinates care and training.

7

The RCH Nurse:

  • assesses the level of support required to meet the student’s medical care needs
  • consults with the student, parents/guardians and medical/health practitioner, to develop a care manual outlining the student’s condition and care requirements.

8

The RCH Nurse trains the nominated school staff to provide the required care for the student and assesses their competency.

9

Every 6 months, the RCH Nurse reviews the care manual and school staff competency.

10

Discharge from the program will occur, where appropriate.

Negligence

If staff or the school are sued for negligence in administering complex medical care:

  • the Department appoints a solicitor to defend the action at no cost to the staff member
  • payment of any damages is made by the state of Victoria.

This does not apply if the:

  • teacher was drunk
  • behaviour was unrelated to the employment
  • behaviour was outrageous
  • behaviour would implicate the teacher in a serious criminal offence.

See: Liability   

Related policies

Department resources

Other resources