We have a responsibility to maintain the health and safety of the pupils under our care, at school or during any other school event or activity. This may extend to administering medicine or taking other medical action in an emergency.
Very few medicines need to be taken during normal school hours and in most cases the appropriate dosage of medicine when prescribed to be taken “three times a day” can be given before school, after school and at night. The same principle can also be applied to medication such as creams/drops.
Where a child has long-term medical needs or where more frequent administration of medicine is prescribed, the school management makes a risk assessment.
The school management:
* decides whether to accept responsibility for medication and, where it does, it accepts the duty with reasonable care and follows the guidelines contained in the school’s ‘Medication for Pupils’ policy and the LA policy
* may delegate responsibility for administering medication to other staff. However, it is the decision of each individual employee as to whether he/she is prepared personally to administer medication. No sanction is taken against any staff member who declines to undertake this task.
The concern of employees administering medication in respect of personal liability is unfounded. The LA takes vicarious liability for the actions of its staff, provided those actions are taken in good faith and in accordance with LA policy and practices.
No medication is given to any child without the specific written consent of the parent/carer concerned. Under no circumstances will staff help a child to administer prescribed medication on their own initiative.
If it is necessary for a child to receive medicine during the school day, parents must give written permission and discuss their child’s needs with the Headteacher. Staff administration of medicines is voluntary and is only carried out when children require medicine for prolonged / on-going medical needs. Any member of staff giving medicine to a pupil checks:
- the pupil’s name
- written instructions provided by parents or doctor
- prescribed dose
- expiry date.
The medicine, together with the signed letter of permission, should be delivered to school by an adult and handed personally to Kay Bridson, Justine Watkins or Helen Waters. Medicines will only be returned to an adult.
For the Medication for Pupils Policy and other relevant policies, go to the Policies section of the website.