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Education provision for pupils with medical or health needs

Children and young people with health / medical needs

Pupils who have health and / or medical needs may be at risk of failing to make appropriate progress from their individual starting points. This is particularly the case for pupils whose health and / or medical needs prevent them from attending school for an extended period of time, or those who are attending school on a part-time or sporadic basis due to their health and / or medical needs.

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We are committed to ensuring that all children and young people in Cornwall receive a suitable education in order to reach their full learning potential.  We aim to ensure that all children and young people are given the opportunity to access an inclusive education that meets their specific needs.

This policy document outlines the support available within Cornwall that can be accessed by pupils with health and / or medical needs.

View the policy

Cornwall Hospital Education Service (CHES)

  • Your child's education can continue while in hospital at Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske (Truro)
  • The school has three experienced teachers covering all key stages
  • We are open in the mornings during term time.  The afternoons is for outreach work on the wards and in the home

"Access to education: All pupils should continue to have access to as much education as their medical condition allows so that they are able to maintain the momentum of their education and to keep up with their studies"

The aim is to try and minimise the interruption and disruption to their normal life.  This helps to reduce the stress of being in hospital.  The medical and nursing staff, hospital teachers and hospital play specialists work together to try to achieve this.  We recognise that a child's medical needs are most important, but we aim to make school in hospital as enriching, enjoyable and as normal an experience as possible.

We teach school children of all Key Stages from 4 to 16.  We aim to give priority to children who:

  • Are in hospital for a long time
  • Regularly come into hospital
  • Are taking school tests and examinations
  • Have on-going problems at their home school

However, we will only begin to teach patients after consultation with the medical and nursing staff.  We will also consider teaching their brothers and sisters (if they are unable to attend their usual school for a very good reason).

The amount of time spent with each child depends on:

  • How well the child is feeling
  • Medical treatment/tests
  • Individual needs
  • Staff availability

Teaching takes place in the school room or at the bedside.  We have two well-equipped classrooms with good resources and access to computers. We are part of the Children's Unit situated on the 5th floor of the Tower Block.  The children's wards are Polkerris, Sennen, CLIC Unit and Fistral Young Persons Unit.  We also teach on other wards as required.

Our teaching hours during school term times are:

  • 09.30 am - 12.00 noon (schoolroom open)
  • 1.00 pm - 3.30 pm (outreach)

But we can be flexible.

Children who are unable to come to the school rooms will normally see one of the teachers for up to an hour a day.

Links with schools:

We try to maintain good links with the schools of those we regularly teach.  Children can e-mail their teachers from the school room and fax their work.  Even when it is only a short break, this helps the child settle back into school life.  We are always happy to supervise and help with work brought in from a child's school.  Schools will provide work and sometimes textbooks when asked, particularly when admissions have been planned. 


In close co-operation with schools, we regularly have students who sit their external examinations with us. We liaise with doctors when a letter is required by examination boards for special consideration.

Home tuition:

If a child is likely to be away from school for more than four weeks in total, we will organise home tuition for them in your area on discharge.

Links with other Hospital Schools:

In some cases children may need to visit hospitals out of county. We have close links with Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital, Bristol Children's Hospital, Frenchay (Bristol) and Derriford in Plymouth.