Supporting pupils with complex medical needs

Find out about the statutory requirements around pupils with complex medical needs, and how to seek additional help if you are struggling to support them.

Last reviewed on 5 May 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 35234
  1. Make sure the pupils have individual healthcare plans (IHPs), if needed
  2. Train your staff to support pupils
  3. Liaise with your school nurse and other agencies
  4. Have a policy in place
  5. When struggling to meet needs, seek support

The DfE’s statutory guidance on supporting pupils with medical conditions sets out what schools must do to make sure their pupils are properly supported.

We refer to these requirements below.

Make sure the pupils have individual healthcare plans (IHPs), if needed

An IHP can include information on the pupil's:

  • Medical condition
  • Needs resulting from the condition
  • Level of support needed, and who will provide the support 

This information can be used to make sure that:

  • Staff are fully aware of the pupil’s needs
  • Any training required is identified
  • Support is targeted effectively

Not all pupils with medical conditions will need an IHP. Agree with parents and healthcare professionals when one would be appropriate, based on evidence. Involve the pupils too, whenever appropriate (pages 9 to 11).

IHPs must be reviewed annually or whenever the pupil’s needs change.

Train your staff