This policy has been formulated by a sub-committee of the Board of Management (BoM) comprising of teachers and parents. Dr Mary Keogan was co-opted to the committee for the formulation and review of this policy.
The Administration of Medication Policy should be read in conjunction with other relevant policies – Health and Safety Policy - and with the school information booklet.
Copies of this policy will be given to each member of staff, to those responsible for after-school activities and sibling after-care, and to the members of the Board of Management. Copies will be available on request to parents/guardians and will in the future be made accessible on the school web-site.
Rationale & Background
The Board of Management has a duty to safeguard the health and safety of children while engaged in school activities. However teachers are not obliged to personally undertake the administration of medications. They may, at their own discretion, agree to administer certain medicines or procedures. This will be arranged on a case-by-case basis.It is school policy that children who are acutely ill should not attend school until the illness has resolved. In the event of a child becoming acutely ill during the course of the school day, parents or emergency contacts will be notified to bring the child home to recuperate. In emergency situations, qualified medical help will be obtained or the child will be brought to the local paediatric emergency department at the earliest opportunity. Hence provision for administration of medication for acute illness in school is not deemed necessary.In line with the school ethos, children with chronic illnesses are encouraged to engage fully in school activities. Where possible, the family doctor should be asked to prescribe treatments that can be taken outside school hours. Administration of medication at school should be kept to a minimum. When administration of medication is required to facilitate a fully inclusive environment, every effort will be made to accommodate children’s needs in line with the provisions below.
The aims of this policy are
To ensure that the needs of children who require administration of essential medications during the school day are met, in line with best practice.
To ensure compliance with relevant legislation.
To protect staff by ensuring that any involvement in medication administration complies with best practice guidelines.
Non-prescription medication will not be stored or administered in the school. Pupils are not permitted to carry non-prescription medication in school. If found, such medications will be confiscated and parents/guardians will be contacted.
Prescription mediation can only be stored/administered in the school following a written request for the parents/guardians to the BoM. This letter should request the BoM to authorise teachers to administer the medication. In doing so, the BoM must determine if the medication is such that a non-medical person may administer/supervise administration. Please note that the BoM cannot require teachers to administer medication. However the BoM will request appropriate teachers to volunteer, authorise them to administer the medication and arrange training if required. The BoM reserves the right, after due consideration, to refuse the request to administer medication.
The letter requesting administration of medicines must be accompanied by the “Request for Administration of Medication – Information and Consent” form (see appendix 1), summarising essential information to allow training of teachers and safe administration of the medication. This form includes the child’s name, date of birth, weight, name of medication, condition for which medication is required, other medication the child takes regularly outside school, allergies, medication dosage, circumstances under which it should be administered, ability of child to self-administer the medication as well as emergency contact information. Consent for information concerning the need for medication administration to be shared with school staff and the school’s insurers is also included. This information may be required if medical assistance is required for the child. Parents will also be asked to provide a signed indemnity form (see Appendix 2). Where a child may require medication, ideally a minimum of three staff members who are willing to administer this will be identified to ensure cover during sick leave, course days, etc. This will often but not always include the class teacher. Parents will be informed of staff members who have agreed to administer the medication in question. In the event that staff members willing to administer the particular medication cannot be identified, the Principal will discuss alternative options with the child’s parents/guardians.
The BoM reserves the right to request written confirmation of medical advice from the child’s doctor, including confirmation of the medication dose and circumstances when it should be given.
If the Board agrees that the medication can be stored and administered in school it is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to ensure that an adequate supply of medication is in stock, and that the medication has not passed its expiry date. In the event that medication passes its expiry date without being used, the child’s parents/guardians will take responsibility for its safe disposal (usually by returning to the pharmacy).
Where possible medication should b e self-administered by the pupil under adult supervision.
Verbal clarification by parents/guardians of how and when to administer the medication is also required.
Medication will usually be stored in a locked cupboard in the school office. However, where this should pose a hazard (e.g.: inhalers or adrenaline autoinjector which may be required urgently) medication will be stored in a sealed, transparent, unbreakable container labelled with the child’s name.
The Principal must be informed immediately of any change in medication and/or dosage in writing. A change in dosage of the same medication does not require notification of the BoM. However, a change in medication will require a new notification of the BoM as outlined in paragraph 3. In either case the “Request for Administration of Medication – Information and Consent” form will need to be updated. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PARENTS/GUARDIANS TO ENSURE THAT THE DOSAGE NOTED ON THE CONTAINER IN WHICH THEIR CHILD’S MEDICATION IS STORED IS ALSO AMENDED.
A written record of all mediation administered in the school will be maintained in the school. When mediation is administered by staff to treat an emergency (allergic reaction, asthma attack, seizure, hypoglycaemia, etc), parents will be notified by telephone. When administration is routine (e.g.: bronchodilatorpre-PE in a child with exercise-induced asthma) a note will be placed in the child’s homework notebook. It is the parents’/guardians’ responsibility to check for such a record.
Under certain circumstances, it may be appropriate for an older child to retain medication in their own possession, and take responsibility for self-administration (e.g.: an older child who would normally carry and use their own inhaler). A written request to the BoM together with documentation outlined in paragraph 3 is still required. Under these circumstances the school will not maintain a record of medication use. Because there is no record of the administration of such medication and because it is in possession of the child, staff cannot be held responsible if it is lost or misused.
Prescribed medication will only be administered to the child for whom it has been prescribed, in line with current legislation.
Arrangements for administration of mediation to each pupil will be reviewed, at least annually.
Detailed information for school staff to facilitate the safe and effective implementation of this policy is included in Appendix 3.
Parents are invited to contact the Principal immediately if they have any concerns about the implementation of this policy in relation to their child’s medication.
The Principal will audit the medication books at least once a term to ensure that the actual administration of medication complies with the information on the “Request for Administration of Medication – Information and Consent” form. Identified discrepancies will be assessed by a physician to assess their clinical relevance (if any).
Feedback from parents/guardians will be carefully considered by the BoM and Policy Subcommittee.
Timeframe for Implementation
Timeframe for Review
Early review will be undertaken if
A clinically significant discrepancy is identified between the medication administered and that authorised on the relevant “Request for Administration of Medication – Information and Consent” form.
Feedback indicates that any aspect of the policy is causing a pupil or any other member of the school community undue distress.
Ratification & Communication
The BoM ratified this policy at a meeting on Monday 25th June 2007.
The policy has been communicated to all staff and a copy has been sent home to parents.
The policy will be published on the school website.
This policy has been prepared to comply with Best Practice Asthma Management Guidelines for Primary Schools in Ireland, Asthma Society of Ireland (www.asthmasociety.ie) Allergy in Schools, The Anaphylaxis Campaign, UK, (www.allergyinschools.org.uk), Epilepsy and Education, The National Society for Epilepsy, UK (www.epilepsynse.org.uk).
Request for Administration of Medication –Information & Consent
Child’s name _____________________Date of birth _____________Weight______
Name of medication ___________________________________Dosage_____________
Under what circumstances should medication be given
Condition for which medication required,_________________________________
Other medication being taken ___________________________________________
My child CAN / CAN NOT self-administer this medication
GP name _____________________________________Phone no ___________________
1st Emergency contact _______________________Mobile no __________________
2nd Emergency contact _______________________Mobile no __________________
I consent for staff members in the school to administer/supervise
administration of ________________________, in dosage of _____________, to my child ______________________________under the circumstances outlined above.
I understand that information about my child’s medical condition and treatment will be shared with school staff, and in the event of an emergency with the GP or other medical personnel. I also consent to the disclosure of this information to the school’s insurers if required
(APPENDIX 46 from Board of Management Handbook)
ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICINES IN SCHOOLS – INDEMNITY
THIS INDEMNITY made the _______________________day of 20______ BETWEEN_____________________________________________(lawful father and mother of ________________________________
(hereinafter called ‘the parents’ of the One Part AND for and on behalf of the Board of Management of __________________________ School situated at ______________________________in the County of ______________ (hereinafter called ‘the Board’) of the Other Part.
1. The parents are respectively the lawful father and mother of
______________________________ a pupil of the above school
2. The pupil suffers on an ongoing basis from the condition
known as ___________________________________
3. The pupil may, while attending the said school, require in emergency circumstances, the administration of medication, viz.
4. The parents have agreed that the said medication may, in
emergency circumstances, be administered by the said pupil’s classroom teacher and/or such other member of staff of the said school as my be designated from time to time by the Board.
NOW IT IS HEREBY AGREED by and between the parents hereto as
In consideration of the Board entering into the within Agreement, the parents, as the lawful father and mother respectively of the said pupil HEREBY AGREE to indemnify and keep indemnified the board, its servants and agents including without prejudice to the generality the said pupil’s class teacher and/or the Principal of the said school from and against all claims, both present and future, arising from the administration or failure to administer the said medicines.
Administration of Medications – Detailed Information for staff
General record keeping
· All forms and letters concerning administration of medication will be stored in the principal’s office, in each pupil’s confidential file. These records are stored in compliance with relevant data protection legislation.
· When a letter regarding a change in dosage or an updated “Request for Administration of Medication – Information and Consent” form is received, this will be stapled to the FRONT of the existing form, to ensure that the updated information is not overlooked.
· Any handwritten notes made on a “Request for Administration of Medication – Information and Consent” form to update it in line with written information provided by parents/guardians will be initialled and dated.
· When an updated “Request for Administration of Medication – Information and Consent” form is received, the original will be retained, but will have a line drawn through it, to indicate that it is now superseded.
Records of Medication Administration
· A duplicate book will be maintained in the office and in any classroom where medication is maintained. When medication is administered an entry will be made (one entry per page). Each entry will include the date and time, name of child, medication and dose administered, reason for administration and the signature of the person administering it.
· To facilitate compliance with documentation requirements the Principal will ensure that each duplicate book is labelled as the Medication book, together with a list of information which must be recorded with each entry
· When an entry is made in the medication book, the top copy is to be removed and stapled in the child’s homework notebook. If the child is too young to have a homework notebook the teacher should agree in advance with a parent where notification of such routine administration will be stapled.