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Action for M.E.'s response to the Ofsted Consulation

April 08, 2019

Action for M.E. have responded Ofsted's consultation regarding their proposed changes to the education inspection framework. This framework instructs inspectors on the areas of scrutiny when inspecting a school and we wanted to use this opportunity as a way to highlight how they can better consider the experiences of children and young people with M.E./CFS.

In our response we recommend that the school inspection handbook instructs inspectors to:

  • check that a school has an effective medical conditions policy at the time of inspection
  • check whether a school’s medical conditions policy is published on their website
  • consider specifically the outcomes and experiences of children and young people with disabilities
  • ensure children with a severe medical condition have their attendance recorded accurately and that Individual Healthcare Plans are reviewed in accordance with the child’s needs.

Having a medical conditions policy is mandatory for schools however research from the Health Conditions in Schools Alliance (HCSA) show that very few schools have one. This policy, if implemented effectively, would ensure that all staff are aware of their duties and not just the leadership of the school. We are concerned that as it currently stands Ofsted inspectors do not routinely ask about schools’ medical conditions policies during inspections. We believe this is a missed opportunity and this consultation offers a good opportunity to positively change the situation.

As well as this, we have joined with the other members of the HCSA to meet with Ofsted and provide a joint response which is backed up by the results of the survey we conducted in January, which will be published in the next few weeks.