The role of the school nurse and (rare) doctor

Doctor and mum examining child
Medical staff at schools aim to help children succeed in their education

Children are unlikely to escape illness during their school years so it is useful to know what health services are available. Dr Marianne Barré, is the general secretary of the school doctors’ union, the Syndicat National Des Médecins Scolaires et Universitaires, and explains procedures during schooling to Jane Hanks

If my child is too ill to go to school what must I do?

You must inform the school that the child will be absent and why, but you do not have to provide a medical certificate. In general, the school has confidence in the parents.

However, there are certain contagious illnesses, such as measles, where a GP must give a certificate showing how long the child should stay at home, and this must be taken in when the child goes back to school to show there is no longer any infection risk. Your GP has a list of illnesses which need a certificate as should the school.

If, however, a child is absent very frequently, the school will try to find out why and if there is a long-term illness, work out what is best to help the child succeed with school work.

If there is truancy, the school will take other appropriate actions.

Is it correct that teachers cannot give any medicines or first aid to children?

Yes, teachers cannot ...

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