Below you will find a brief overview of the Department of Education's policy in regards to ensuring the health and safety of children in schools.
The current Department of Education policy is designed to ensure that children and young people with medical needs are properly supported in school and not placed at disadvantage or further risk.
Under Section 100 of the Children and Families Act, governing boards are required to make arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions and to have regard to statutory guidance. The duty and guidance is designed to help schools ensure that they are meeting their legal responsibilities by taking reasonable action to support children with medical conditions and to give parents confidence that the right support will be put in place.
The duty and statutory guidance came into force in September 2014. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-pupils-at-school-with-medical-conditions--3, and covers a range of areas including the preparation and implementation of school policies for supporting pupils with medical conditions, the use of individual healthcare plans, staff training, medicines administration, roles and responsibilities, consulting with parents and collaborative working with healthcare professionals. It was developed based on good practice in schools.
As recommended by stakeholders, the statutory guidance for supporting pupils with medical conditions does not specify which medical conditions should be supported in schools. Instead, it focuses on the needs of each individual child and how their medical condition impacts on school life. It is considered that parents, healthcare professionals and schools are best placed to determine whether a child requires support and make judgements about the care to be provided.
In regards to the application of sunscreens for pupils, all schools must have a health and safety policy.
Accountability for the health and safety of staff and pupils rests with the employer. The day-to-day running of the school, including health and safety matters, is delegated to the headteacher and school management team.
Schools should set out their health and safety arrangements in writing, and be clear about respective responsibilities. Schools must also appoint a competent person to assist with health and safety.