5 year old with constipation/soiling has been told he... - ERIC


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5 year old with constipation/soiling has been told he can't attend school

Batman2015 profile image

My 5 year old son has ongoing chronic constipation which causes intermittent soiling at school. Although he returned to school for two days last week he soiled on both days and I have now been told that he is unable to attend without a risk assessment and health care plan (I had asked for health care plan back in October last year but at that time the school wouldn't create one for him). I am very worried that the school will assess the risk and conclude that with Covid-19 it is too risky to allow my son back to school. Has anyone else been told that their child who is constipated or soils cannot return to school? Has the statutory guidance changed or is there any new Covid-19 related guidance which means that it is OK for schools to say that a child who soils is unable to attend? I'm really unhappy with how the school has managed the whole situation. Who can I speak to for advice about this? Thanks.

12 Replies

There is some guidance on the Eric website about this, have a look and see what it says.

Thanks - I've had a look at ERIC and if I understand the guidance correctly I don't think the school can do this. But I'd like to speak to someone to check I have understood it and ask if there's anything new in light of Covid-19 which affects the existing statutory guidance. I've tried calling the ERIC helpline but haven't yet managed to get through.

I spoke to a health visitor yesterday about my daughter and when I mentioned that I was concerned about her not being allowed into nursery and then school in September she told me they can not refuse you child as it’s discrimination.

Make them create a care plan for him - I think there may even be one on the Eric website that you can use as a base...

I am so sorry they have not been more sympathetic.

Batman2015 profile image
Batman2015 in reply to Bambie83

Thanks for your support. I asked the school about a health care plan back in October last year and signposted the ERIC website but they have been reluctant to create one for my son until now. Since October school has been aware of his condition and the prescribed treatment for it and they allowed him to return for two days at the beginning of last week. Unfortunately he soiled on both days. I then received an email from the Headteacher at 11pm on Sunday night (my son was due to attend school the following morning) to say that he cannot attend without a health care plan and risk assessment but they won't do any of this without a letter from the GP (despite the fact that they've already had full information about treatment etc. from me).

Fortunately the GP was quick to follow up and sympathetic. She has written to the school and referred my son to a specialist. Meanwhile I still don't know if they will agree to let him return next week.

I agree that it's discriminatory but I want to make sure I understand all the relevant statutory guidance so I can work out the best way of addressing the situation with my son's school. My main priority first of all is to get him back into school before the end of term.

I hope everything goes well for your daughter's return to nursery and school x

Bambie83 profile image
Bambie83 in reply to Batman2015

They seem to handling this very badly indeed. I am so sorry.

Batman2015 profile image
Batman2015 in reply to Bambie83

Thank you - I really appreciate that. It has been such a distressing experience for all of us. I hope we can get things sorted but it is worrying because I've completely lost confidence and trust in the school.

I am sorry to hear this. I spoke to my child’s school yesterday and I think they are hesitant about her returning too, for the same reasons. I’d suggest speaking to one of the Eric team and asking for their advice. You can also self refer to get help from school nurses. I am doing that now. Best of luck xx

Thank you. I have tried calling the ERIC helpline a few times but haven't yet managed to get through. I agree it will be helpful to speak to someone there so I'll keep trying.

I did self refer to the school nurse a few months ago. I had a meeting with her at the school along with the deputy head and one of my son's teachers.

Unfortunately it was quite a bad experience. I explained that he had been treated for faecal impaction and although that had seemed to help he still experienced related intermittent soiling. I hoped that the nurse would be able to offer some practical advice and support for how to manage this at home and at school but instead she pointed at me and said that I was the problem and should just try to stop being "stressed" about it.

I'm afraid that experience has completely put me off pursuing any further help from the school nurse. I spoke to our GP again today who was sympathetic and helpful about, and she has now referred my son to a specialist. It'll probably be a while before we see anyone but hopefully it's a step in the right direction.

Best of luck to you too. I hope you get the support you need and your child's return to school goes smoothly xx

He is covered under the equality act and as such I would challenge the school on this basis

Are you under any medical care such as a continence nurse ?

Batman2015 profile image
Batman2015 in reply to Hulllas4

Thanks - that's what I thought but I wondered if perhaps the statutory guidance had changed in light of Covid-19 etc. If I've understood the guidance etc. correctly then this is discriminatory but I want to be sure I haven't missed something.

My son has regularly seen our GP and been taking prescribed laxatives since October last year. I spoke to the GP again today and she has now referred him to a specialist. I guess we may have to wait a while for an appointment but I think this is definitely a step in the right direction.

I asked the school to create a health care plan back in October last year but they seem to have been reluctant to treat this as something medical until just now. I think they have managed the whole situation really badly.

Hi my son suffers from chronic constipation been probably 4/5years he is 7 now. My school under pressure gave us a care plan due to soiling etc he does also have additional needs but we have no other care plan in place for this as of yet!

Our children have been in school since lockdown as we are key workers. We are obviously concerned for us aswell as school how they may go about it as my son has to be taken to the toilet (he has no sensation of needing to go) they adjusted his care plan to include some specific ppe more for the teacher. It's the same teacher when he is in & we are allowed to keep a spare bag in school as it's not coming and going from the building. They have actually been really good. But it may depend on your council aswell. Definitely check the Eric website. And our school have done a health & safety assement based on covid19 and the LA offer for children with disabilities etc should be viewable on there website! Have read of that if possible.

Hope you can get sorted xx

Batman2015 profile image
Batman2015 in reply to claire5

Thank you - that's all really helpful to know and I will check out the websites. It's also good to know that other schools have managed to find solutions. I do hope our school can sort something out xx

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