Management Information Sheet

Joint Medical Protocol when ill health is cited as the reason for absence

MI Sheet TypeAction
To Be Completed By: 30/09/2022
MI Number:162/22
Publication Date:27/09/2022 10:00:00
LA Contact:Annette Walker
Audience:Headteachers, Governors

Joint Medical Protocol when ill health is cited as the reason for absence

The 2022 updates to the Joint Medical Protocol are now available. (This is also available as a as a pdf to download). School leaders and governors who oversee attendance should familiarise themselves with this guidance. School colleagues who submit referrals to the Medical Needs Service should use the Joint Medical Protocol. Further details are available within the document. There are 5 documents to download, including flowcharts, a consent form, school information form and health information form.

This protocol was devised in response to the findings of Norfolk Safeguarding Children Board Serious Case Review: Case P (2016). Case P is a complex case, but the existence of medical evidence appears to have been a key driver influencing the decision not to proceed with more formal legal action to address the child's chronic poor school attendance. The Review identified that a considered discussion about the parentally asserted versus professionally provided medical evidence to support school absence would have clarified that there was a need to better understand the way in which the child's family operated and the needs of the child.

The 2022 documents have been revised in accordance with Keeping children safe in education - GOV.UK and Working together to improve school attendance - GOV.UK. The documents now also contain references to gaining a child's consent, where the child is Gillick competent. The documents facilitate communication between health and education colleagues in supporting a child's attendance at school.

From the Medical Needs Service team.