Administration of Medicine in School
There are two main sets of circumstances under which Headteachers may be asked to deal with the administration of medically prescribed medicines to pupils in school. These are;
- Children with chronic illness or long-term complaints, such as asthma, diabetes or epilepsy. Parents are asked to inform the school if their child has any of these complaints or any other allergy which may require emergency treatment. An individual health care plan may then be written.
- Children recovering from short-term illnesses but who are receiving a course of prescribed medication such as, antibiotics etc.
The following notes are based on advice received from the Area Specialist in Community Medicine (Child Health).
Ideally a parent who is able and willing to do so, should visit the school and administer drug in the sort of circumstances outlined in 1 and 2 above.
More often than not, a request is made that the Headteacher should arrange for the administration of the drugs. It is not a legal requirement that teachers administer medicine (unless it is part of an EHCP), but it is more than likely, in the case of chronic illness and long-term complaints, that we will agree to undertake this task in the interests of the child, providing that it is not feasible for the drug to be administered by the parent. Once the school has agreed to do this, the drugs should be brought in to school by the parent and delivered personally to the Headteacher or somebody nominated by him/her. They will then be kept safely away from children. An authorisation form has to be completed by the parent and a record kept by the school of the types and dosages of medicines administered. This agreement to administer drugs etc. In cases of long term illnesses applies only to those prescribed by a doctor.
We are not allowed to administer medicines which have been obtained by parents from a chemist or some other source with out a doctor’s prescription.
In the case of short term illnesses children should be kept at home until he/she is well enough to return. Where there is any doubt at all about whether or not a child is free from infection medical approval should be sought before returning to school.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD CHILDREN BE SENT TO SCHOOL WITH TABLETS LOZENGES OR BOTTLES OF MEDICINE TO BE TAKEN DURING THE DAY