Administering medicines: parental consent

Learn how to seek permission to give non-prescription medicines to pupils, and what to do if a parent/carer doesn't consent. Plus, download and use our multi-purpose consent form.

Last reviewed on 6 March 2024
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 7567
  1. You need written consent 
  2. When to obtain consent
  3. If a parent/carer doesn't consent 
  4. Download template consent forms
  5. Brief staff on medicines management

You need written consent 

Get written consent from a parent/carer before you give a child under 16 any medication.  

This applies to all cases, except in 'exceptional circumstances' where the medicine has been prescribed without the knowledge of a parent/carer (e.g. contraceptives). In this case, encourage the pupil to involve a parent/carer while respecting their right to confidentiality.

Only administer medicine at school when it would be detrimental to a child’s health or school attendance not to do so.

This is outlined in the DfE's guidance on supporting pupils with medical conditions at school (page 20). The guidance is statutory for:

  • Maintained schools
  • Academies (including alternative provision academies)
  • Pupil referral units (PRUs)

It's also a useful reference for other settings, such as independent schools.

Read our article on administering medicines to pupils – it has a list of 'dos' and 'don'ts' that your staff can refer to.

It's up to you to decide whether