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Campaigning for M.E. at Safe in School lobby day

October 23, 2017

Action for M.E. is campaigning with children who have M.E. and their parents at Westminster today to highlight the challenges they face in accessing education that meets their needs.

As part of the Medical Conditions in Schools Alliance, who have organised the day, our Children’s Services Team is meeting with young people, their parents and their MPs to call for some simple changes that will keep more children with M.E. safe, by making sure schools are prepared with the right polices. We want:

  • Ofsted to tell their inspectors to routinely check school's medical conditions policies as part of their regular inspections.
  • the Department of Education to change their guidance, so that all schools need to publish their medical conditions polices on their website.
  • the Department of Education to do more to keep children with medical conditions safe in school.

“Children with M.E. have the right to appropriate education that best meets their needs," says Mary-Jane Willows, Head of Children’s Services, Action for M.E. and a founding member of the Medical Conditions in Schools Alliance. “While we know there are some schools that already do this very well, we still hear from many families who are not getting the support they need. That’s why we are working to raise awareness not only of the impact of M.E., but also how schools can support these children: by having a medical conditions policy and individual healthcare plans.

“We are hugely grateful to Aoife and her mum, Maddie and her mum, and the other family we are supporting, for taking the time and energy to come along today, and talk to their MP about what needs to change.”

As part of the lobby day, Action for M.E. has set up meetings for these families with Karen Buck, Labour MP for Westminster North; George Eustice, Conservative MP for Camborne and Redruth; and Mark Lancaster, Conservative MP for Milton Keynes North. A petition in support of the Safe in School campaign, signed by 50,000 people, will also be delivered to the Department of Health this afternoon as part of the lobby day.

How having the right support can make the difference

All schools should have a medical conditions policy which states how the school will care for children with medical conditions such as M.E., including having an individual healthcare plan in place for every child with a long-term health condition

You can

  • watch our short film, featuring Katie and her mum Sarah, and learning manager Becky Parry-Jones at Hardenhuish School in Chippenham, which explains how individual healthcare plans (IHPs) can be used to support children with M.E.
  • contact us for information and support, whether you are a parent of a child with M.E. or an education or health professional. We are here to help.