Access to education for children with health needs


Children who are unable to attend school due to health needs or illness must have the same access to education as other children.

Important information

The local authority must ensure suitable education is provided when a child is absent for more than 15 days. This can either be consecutive days or a total of days over a period of time. This applies whether the child is on the roll of a school or not and whatever the type of school they attend. It applies to pupils in:

  • academies
  • free schools
  • special schools
  • independent schools
  • maintained schools.

The Department for Education has published statutory guidance for local authorities and schools. This outlines their roles to ensure children receive a good education.

Pathway for secondary aged children with medical and mental health needs

This is guidance for schools, health and other professionals. It clarifies how to support children to access an appropriate education.

What you can do

If your child has health needs and is unable to attend school regularly, talk to your child’s school. Together you can ensure that you put appropriate education in place for your child.