My 4 year old son has just started Reception at primary school. He suffers with viral wheeze, which is similar to asthma symptoms but linked to whenever he has a cold virus or cough.
However, although he tends to get episodes around 4 times a year, when they come on, they can be sudden and often requiring emergency treatment, as his inhaler may not be sufficient. In these instances, it becomes life threatening.
I had a meeting with the school welfare officer, handing her key points about my son's condition, and she assured me that she will communicate to all teachers that deal with him, as well as lunch time staff.
However, I was with my son a lunchtime a week later (helping him settle in) and took the opportunity to ask a dinner lady (for his year) if she knew about his health condition. She knew nothing!
I fed this back to the head of year, who told me she would follow up straight away. I then got a phonecall from the welfare officer asking me to get my son's care plan signed by the GP. I am waiting to see if the GP would do this. In further conversation with the welfare lady, she told me that she had communicated with his teachers but not the dinner ladies, and they would only tell the dinner ladies if the GP assures them my son has a life threatening condition. I (again) told her that my son did not have a life threatening condition, and was too young for them to diagnose asthma, but did have a tendency to breathing difficulties linked to virus, and that this was sudden and often life threatening.
She went on to tell me that they would not tell the dinner lady staff, as if my boy was ill, then they would take him to the medical room. She failed to understand that often my boy does not complain of being ill, he just gets a little quiet. And unless dinner ladies know he has this tendency, they will have no idea that he is becoming ill. Also, with this problem, one needs to act fast, as has been the case many times before. When I asked her how the dinner lady was to know that he was being ill, and they would be relying on my son to actively tell someone, she refused to communicate further with me.
I have looked online for a policy on health for the school, but they quote guidelines from Dept of Health 2014, who say that GP approval is not required if a child has a health issue that can fluctuate and be serious, and it is up to the school to decide with the parents.
Can anyone help? I don't want to be a pain to the school, as my boy has only just started, but I can't risk people not knowing about his condition if they are going to take responsibility for him.
Also, I lost my Mum suddenly to NHS neglect, and don't want neglect to play a part in my son's health care at school.
Thanks in advance.