Attendance, Appointments & Hospital Stays

One of the things that goes with SMA is medical appointments. For many of you these will be frequent and you will also have had planned and unplanned hospital stays. It’s important your parents keep your school as up-to-date as possible about any of these.

There’s no question about them needing to take priority over being at school but the further you get on with your studies and the nearer you get to GCSE and A-Level time the more you might find them a pain – not to mention missing your friends and what’s going on.

Short Absences

Your school should keep in touch and your subject teachers send work home if you’re off for more than a day or two. Some schools can do this through their website. Others may provide some outreach support, for instance if you have a support assistant, they may come and do some work with you at home. 

Hospital School

If you’re admitted to hospital you may attend the hospital's school. The hospital education team should talk with you and liaise with your school about what you need to be doing and how they can help. 

Absence at Home for Health Reasons for More Than 15 School Days

The local authority must provide alternative education - either full time or as much as you can manage. It can be provided in a number of different ways, including:

  • A home tutor
  • Online learning
  • A small unit for children with medical needs

Before arranging this, the local authority may need a referral from your school or a letter from a consultant stating that you’re not well enough to attend school. The teams co-ordinating alternative education have different names in different areas. Common names are 'home and hospital tuition' or 'EOTAS' (Education Otherwise Than At School).

If you have an EHC Plan, it can include what will be set up when you’re absent from school. 

Going Back to School

It may be possible for you to have a gradual return, for instance through part-time attendance for a limited time. You can discuss what will work best with the school and the services that have been providing education and care for you. You may also want to agree with school what information you’re comfortable having shared with other students.

Page last reviewed /  updated: March 2021
Next review due: March 2022