Intimate care policy and plan: model and examples

Download our model intimate care policy and templates for an intimate care plan and consent form. Read expert advice on what to consider and see examples from other schools.

Last reviewed on 25 April 2024
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Contents
  1. Download our model policy
  2. Work with relevant pupils and their parents/carers to create an intimate care plan
  3. If you have lots of children not yet toilet trained
  4. Understand the responsibility of staff around intimate care
  5. Review your policy and plans regularly
  6. Examples
  7. Sources

Download our model policy

Model policy: intimate care

There's no requirement for you to have an intimate care policy, but if you have pupils that require intimate care, including if you're a setting with a high proportion of children not yet toilet trained, you might find it useful.

It's designed for you to adapt to suit your school's context. We developed our model policy with Forbes Solicitors, the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), and our associate experts Sarah Gallagher and Audrey Pantelis.

You'll also find attached:

  • An intimate care plan template
  • A parent/carer consent form, if you're a setting with a high proportion of children not yet toilet trained

Work with relevant pupils and their parents/carers to create an intimate care plan

You should have one for children that need regular care, such as those:

  • With special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) who need an intimate care procedure on a regular basis
  • Who are not toilet trained yet (if you're a setting with a high proportion of children not yet toilet trained, such as a nursery school, use a general consent form to seek permission from parents or carers. Download our template below or use the one in appendix 2 of our model policy above) 
  • With continence conditions
  • With injuries that make independent toileting difficult

Find out, where possible, what pupils' needs and preferences are, and use this information to devise your plan. It’s important to give pupils choices, so they can preserve their self-worth and dignity.

Parents/carers need to be involved in the creation of the plan, as they will need to give consent and provide equipment such as nappies.

Some pupils may have medical equipment such as catheters or stoma bags. Where necessary, work with any healthcare professionals involved with the pupil to tailor the plan to their needs.

Learn more about intimate care planning in another article from The Key Leaders.

Download our intimate care plan template

KeyDoc: intimate care plan template

If you have lots of children not yet toilet trained

You won't necessarily need an intimate care plan for all children, so you'll be better off seeking general consent from parents/carers to help children with toileting, washing and changing as needed.

However, if you have children with SEND or injuries, for example, use our intimate care plan above – even if they're not toilet trained, as they may need a specific approach or particular considerations.

Download our template parent consent form

KeyDoc: intimate care parent/carer consent form

Understand the responsibility of staff around intimate care

Regular intimate care for a child should be included in the responsible staff member's job description.

Where you have a child joining your school who will require regular intimate care and your budget allows, you may want to consider:

  • Appointing a new member of support staff with the intimate care duty specifically set out
  • Adding extra hours for your existing support staff to cover the intimate care duty

Read more about the responsibility of school staff around intimate care, what care your school must provide and how to effectively plan provision for it.

Review your policy and plans regularly

Revisit your policy and intimate care plans twice a year (even if no changes are necessary), and update them regularly, as well as whenever there are changes to a pupil’s needs.

As part of the review process, check in regularly with parents/carers to find out if the pupils' needs have changed and adapt the plan where necessary. Where the care plan has changed significantly, update staff training to make sure staff are fully equipped to follow the plan.

Examples

Nursery

At Horden Nursery School in County Durham, the intimate care policy emphasises a positive, relaxed experience for the child, such as:

  • Having a warm changing area
  • Avoiding negative remarks about 'nappy contents'

Primary schools

Courthouse Green Primary School in Coventry has an intimate care policy that includes:

  • Supporting children with autonomy and independence
  • Carefully considering how many members of staff will attend to the child
  • Having an open dialogue with parents/carers around social, ethnic and cultural perspectives on what 'intimate' means

It also contains a parental consent form and an intimate care record in the appendix.

Fagley Primary School in Bradford has an intimate care policy that sets out:

  • Safeguarding measures, such as rotating the adult delivering intimate care to the pupil to avoid the development of over-familiar relationships
  • Hygiene measures
  • The role of physiotherapists in determining whether special apparatus needs to be used for pupils with physical disabilities

Secondary schools

Bow School in Tower Hamlets has an intimate care policy that sets out the school’s commitment that no pupil will miss out on education due to continence issues. The policy includes:

  • How pupils will be encouraged to be as independent as possible
  • Safeguarding considerations

The policy also includes a template intimate care plan as an appendix (pages 5 to 6).

South Hunsley School and Sixth Form College in East Riding of Yorkshire uses the intimate care policy of its multi-academy trust, The Education Alliance. It states that:

  • The school will support staff to adapt their practice where pupils have developmental changes
  • Staff should only carry out intimate care procedures for a pupil of the same sex, unless staffing arrangements don't allow

Special school

Corbets Tey School in Essex has an intimate care policy (under 'safeguarding' policies) that explains the school:

  • Takes into account the wishes of the student and parents/carers, wherever possible
  • Has appropriate rooms and equipment to use
  • Will encourage pupils to recognise and challenge any behaviour that erodes their dignity and self-worth

The policy also includes:

  • An easy-read version of the policy on pages 11 and 12
  • A record of intimate care interventions on page 13
  • A parental consent form on page 14
  • A template intimate care plan on page 16

Academy trust

STEP Academy Trust has an intimate care policy for its schools, which includes an intimate care plan in appendix 1 (find it under 'STEP Intimate Care Policy').

The plan records information such as:

  • Which staff are involved in delivering the care
  • Child's area of need
  • Frequency of support needed
  • How pupils will work towards independence

It also includes a parental permission form in appendix 3.

This form includes a number of short statements summarising the intimate care policy and the role of the parent/carer in intimate care.

Local authority

Norfolk County Council has a guide to discussing intimate care with parents/carers and a permission form.

The permission form includes an agreement that if any circumstances change that might affect a child's need for intimate care, parents/carers will let the school know.

Sources

With thanks to our associate experts:

  • Sarah Gallagher is a primary school headteacher at a school with around 30 pupils. She also works to create reading cultures in schools, and is a partnership tutor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge
  • Audrey Pantelis is the founder and director of Elevation Coaching and Consulting and works with schools and organisations in developing and implementing positive, systemic improvement programmes. Her career in mainstream and special educational needs spans over 30 years, including as the founding head of a free special school in north-west London

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