Returning to school after an operation or medical procedure

Communication is important when returning to school after medical treatment. When a child returns to school after an operation or procedure, school staff will need to be informed of any changes in your child’s SEN or health needs provision.

Parents and carers are often the first line of communication on return to school.

A Return to School Meeting is a good idea to update staff on changes from teachers to support staff, from dinner supervisors and escorts on transport.

An Individual Healthcare Plan or IHP could be required to alert staff of your child’s health needs.

The SENCO, head teacher of the school and classroom teachers will need to know the health details and the possible effects of the medical treatment a child with hydrocephalus has received in hospital.

Teachers form a crucial link to the school for parents and carers. They know to share information about individual children, whatever their circumstances, maintaining your child’s privacy.

Teachers also like to be made aware of changes in a child’s needs or particular approaches that you have been advised of by health professionals.

Staff at school should know about the ‘hidden’ nature of some of the effects of an operation connected with hydrocephalus. Some of the effects may not emerge until weeks or months later so it is best to remind staff of possible effects.

The Special Educational Needs Code of Practice for England makes explicit the need for parents and educational professionals to work in partnership. Keeping those lines of communication open will benefit everyone.

Useful information to share on return to school

  • Have any sensory difficulties emerged after the medical procedure?
  • Are there any physical difficulties that might affect your child in school, such as access to classrooms or PE lessons?
  • Are there any activities such as school trips that might be difficult?
  • Has your child any difficulties with concentration or communication?
  • Does your child have any therapy requirements, which might have an impact at school?
  • Are any special devices or equipment required?
  • Does personal care need extra supervision?
  • Should prescribed medication be given at school?
  • Does your child have seizures?
  • Are there any safety precautions to be made?
  • Do you have any particular concerns about the return to school?
  • Are there siblings at the school, who may be affected by all the changes that have taken place?

Advice for school staff

You may notice changes in your child so you may need to advise teachers to:
  • Be flexible as your child settles back into the routine of school
  • Be prepared to change a child’s learning programme or assignments
  • Celebrate any improvements, no matter how small they may be
  • Continue to monitor progress, looking for ways to maintain engagement in activities
  • Communicate with the family about progress through a more detailed home/school diary system, as well as regular face-to-face meetings with parents and carers
  • Keep in mind structure and routine
  • Reminders and memory aids
  • Extra guidance to maintain concentration
  • Greater care when communicating instructions and giving feedback
  • Awareness of changes in social and emotional needs
  • Maintain good hydration and nutrition
  • Greater attention to moving around school where balance, coordination and tiredness are concerned.

Further Advice

For any further advice or if you have any concerns about your child's development please do contact your school nurse, or contact Shine’s health team on 01733 555988 or click here to email us.

Our office hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. We aim to respond to all enquiries as quickly as possible!

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