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Guidance about children who cannot attend school due to long term health needs.

We work with children who live in Derbyshire who cannot attend their school due to long term health needs.

We follow the Government statutory guidance for children who cannot attend school because of health needs.

We receive referrals from schools for children who are unable to attend school for the following reasons:

  • medical or health reasons
  • mental health reasons
  • school age pregnancy

For referrals based on medical or mental health needs, the referral would need to be supported by medical evidence provided by a consultant, the school medical officer or a CAMHS practitioner.

For a referral on the grounds of school age pregnancy, you will need to provide a MATB1 certificate as evidence of the pregnancy and due date.

We provide a total of 18 weeks tuition for a school age pregnancy, for the mother only. This is split into nine weeks prior to the due date and nine weeks after the due date with a compulsory two week period of rest from tuition around the birth of the baby.

There will be a wide range of circumstances where a child has a health need, but will receive suitable education that meets their needs without our intervention:

  • where the child can still attend school with some support
  • where the school has made arrangements to deliver suitable education outside of school
  • where the child is being educated in hospital or hospital school
  • where the child's absence will be less than 15 days

If one of your pupils is likely to be absent from school due to illness for more than 15 school days, it's your duty as the child's school to alert out of school tuition that provision may be required.

As we need to discuss the application for the child before your school makes a full referral, please email with the name and contact details of the member of staff in school. We will be able to answer any queries, discuss the case with you and will send you a copy of our latest referral form if it is appropriate to do so.

Once we receive the form from school, if the referral meets our criteria, summarised in the criteria for referral to OOST document attached to this page, we will consider the medical evidence and work closely with medical professionals, the child's family and the child's school to provide educational provision.

Any education provided should aim to support good attainment particularly in English, maths and science.

Please see the out of school tuition referral policy attached to this page for further information.

For further information for school staff who are supporting children and young people with medical needs in schools or settings, please visit the Derbyshire Local Offer website.

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