Frequently asked questions

Is it possible to defer enrolment of a student requiring prescribed medication or health care procedures in certain circumstances?

A student's enrolment should not be deferred on the grounds of need for the administration of prescribed medication or health care procedures unless there are real safety issues that are to be resolved.

The appropriate senior officer needs to be consulted prior to the deferral of enrolment on this basis.

What can schools do if a student will not take their prescribed medication?

Non-compliance needs to be addressed as soon as possible. This will involve enlisting the support of parents/carers. Other professional support people may become involved after an assessment of the situation.

Schools need to take a reasonable approach to gaining compliance. Where a student's safety is not jeopardised and the student continues to be non-compliant, the parent should be advised regularly that this is the situation.

How is the school advised about treatment requirements from the medical practitioner?

The school principal relies on parents/carers to provide medical information to the school.

On occasions principals may wish to discuss matters with a student's doctor directly. Generally, the principal should seek the written consent of parents/carers for the doctor to provide the school with information about the child's health condition. The department's intranet has information from legal services directorate on exchanging information with a student's general practitioner concerning a student’s safety, welfare or wellbeing.

Can students take medication themselves?

Parents/carers who wish their child to self medicate must complete a written request (DOC 113.5 KB).  Students must not carry medications unless there is a written agreement between the school and the student’s parents/carers.

Where a student is living independently, he or she may provide consent themselves.

The principal will provide a letter to parents confirming arrangements (DOC 107 KB) for a student to self medicate. The principal is responsible for making a judgement about whether a particular student can self administer safely. The principal may wish to seek medical advice on this issue.

The school's decision to support any parental request for a student to self administer prescribed medication will be influenced by the following:

  • the ability and maturity level of the student
  • relevant parental and medical advice
  • the complexity of the administration of prescribed medication procedure
  • the willingness of the student to self administer
  • the level of support required in an emergency

How can schools dispose of unwanted medication safely?

If schools identify a need to dispose of a student's medication, this should occur with parent consent wherever possible.

Schools and parents can take unwanted or out-of-date medication to any pharmacy for safe disposal.

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