Support for students with high care needs

If your child has high care needs their school may be able to apply for extra assistance so your child can take part and learn at school.

Home-based educational support program

If your child’s disability and medical condition mean they're away from school for a long time, their school can:

  • develop a learning program for your child
  • work with you to plan home-based learning activities, learning materials and support
  • regularly communicate with your child
  • make sure your child is involved with school activities
  • plan for their return to school
  • make sure your child has the equipment or technology they need to access support. You need to take care of any equipment provided by the school and return it when it’s no longer needed.

In most cases, the school will be able to provide your child with support without needing to apply for further funding. But if your child high highly specialised needs and is enrolled in a government school, the principal can apply for extra funding through the Home-Based Educational Support Program.

The program gives extra funding to the school so they can make sure your child takes part in their learning while they're at home.

To apply for the funding, the principal may ask you for information or reports about your child's disability and health care needs.

With your permission, the principal will complete and send the application form, medical reports and your child’s learning plan to us.

The principal will also inform you of the outcome and will work with the student support group to plan and monitor your child’s learning program.

Contact your local Regional Disabilities Coordinator for more information about what support is available.

Support for complex medical needs at school

Training to meet your child’s high medical needs

​Schools can get specialised training for teachers and education support staff to meet your child’s health care needs. This is called the Schoolcare Program.

The training makes sure staff have the skills to deliver medical care to your child while they’re attending school. Training takes place every six months. The program is provided by us in partnership with the Royal Children’s Hospital.

Procedures covered in training include:

  • tube feeding
  • tracheostomy care
  • suction
  • oxygen
  • stoma care.

If stoma care is your child’s only medical need, the school will be able to contact the Royal Children’s Hospital Stomal Therapy Clinic for training.

Who can get the Schoolcare Program

The school can get the Schoolcare Program if:

  • your child needs regular treatment during the school day
  • your child would not be able to go to school without their medical procedure being performed
  • staff members need specific training so they can perform your child’s healthcare procedures.

How schools apply

The school principal will complete and submit your child’s referral form to us, along with any supporting medical reports. The form includes a section that you and your child’s doctor will fill in.

The principal will let you know when the application needs to be submitted. This will give you time to make the necessary appointments with your child’s doctors. If you already have pre-booked appointments with the doctor, it may be helpful to talk about what you need for the application.

When we get your child’s referral form, we will work with the Royal Children’s Hospital to decide if your child is suitable for the program. When the principal is told the result, they’ll contact you.

If the application is successful, the school principal will organise training for school staff. The Royal Children’s Hospital will prepare a care plan for your child. The nurse will train the staff to look after your child’s medical care.

If the application is not successful, we will talk to the school about other supports that may be available for your child.

Medical intervention support

If your child has ongoing complex medical needs, and is eligible for the Program for Students with Disabilities (PSD), their school will make sure trained staff provide assistance during school hours.

To support staff arrangements to meet your child's specialised needs, the school may apply for  Medical Intervention Support funding.

A high or complex medical need is a health condition that needs regular and specialised medical care at school.  Examples include:

  • tube feeding
  • mechanical ventilation
  • oxygen
  • tracheostomy care
  • suction
  • ostomy management
  • management of faecal output.

Who can get Medical Intervention Support

Your child’s school may apply for funding if:

  • your child’s medical condition needs regular complex care at school
  • specialised trained staff are needed to perform your child’s medical procedure
  • your child is eligible for the Program for Students with Disability (PSD).

Applying for Medical Intervention Support

Your child’s school is responsible for applying for Medical Intervention Support. They may:

  • speak to you about your child’s medical needs
  • ask you to provide information from your child's health professionals – such as a current medical report
  • talk to you about the outcome of the application.

Meeting your child's ongoing medical needs

Your child's school will:

  • review your child’s medical support needs at least once a year
  • make sure staff are trained in your child’s medical needs
  • make sure trained staff do refresher training at least once a year
  • contact us if the needs of your child change – for example, if a procedure is no longer needed during school hours or if extra support is needed.