Administration of Medicines and Allergies







Administration & Management of Pupil Medication

A guide for managing pupil medication in school



cover pic


September 2014







This is a model guidance document that has been produced by One Education (HR and People Service) for adoption and use by Schools and Academies.  We strongly advise that you consult with employees in your school before use.


The HR and People team at One Education can also assist with the consultation and implementation of the procedure within your school.


At the date of its production by One Education (see production date below) this procedure incorporates all current employment legislation and government policy where applicable. These are legally binding on schools and academies and there is no requirement for these elements to go through a consultation process. Such changes have been automatically assimilated this document.


*There are no other non-statutory policy or procedural changes contained in this procedure.


*There are other non-statutory policy or procedural changes arising from the adoption of this procedure and these have been adopted by the school/academy according to the following consultation control process:


Date of document production

Unions/Professional Associations consulted

Date consultation closed

Date adopted by Governing Body

September 2014












*delete as applicable


































Table of Contents


  1. Purpose
  2. Guidance
  3. Storage
  4. Administration of medication
  5. Disposal of medication
  6. Individual health-care plan
  7. Emergency procedures
  8. School trips
  9. Sporting activities
  10. Hygiene and infection control
  11. Risk assessments
  12. Staff training
  13. Liability and indemnity
  14. Legislation and guidance




















  1. Purpose


  1. This document provides advice and guidance on managing medication in school and support for pupils with medical needs in the school. Implementing the process recommended within the guide will ensure the school achieves the following objectives:


  • To safeguard the health and well being of pupils.
  • To ensure staff abide by their duty of care by assisting pupils to take their medication where appropriate.
  • To develop policies related to the administration, storage and management of medicines in school.
  • To put in place effective management systems to support individual pupils with medical needs.
  • To take account of statutory responsibility.
  • To ensure correct management of care plans for pupils with allergies.


  1. Guidance


  1. Risk assessment should be undertaken for pupils or groups with medical needs this extends to work experience, school placements and residential visits
  2. Medicines should only be taken at school when essential, where it would be detrimental to a pupil’s health if the medicine were not administered during the school day.
  3. Wherever possible and with the parents consent medicines that need to be taken 3 times a day will not be administered at school.  They should be taken in the morning, after school and at bedtime
  4. School should only accept prescribed medicines dispensed by a pharmacist and which include instructions for administration, dosage, storage, from parents and carers relevant dates and the pupil’s name.
  5. Parents must give written consent.  It only requires one parent to agree or request that medicines are administered.
  6. School should ensure that all staff are aware of the Health & Safety issues
  7. Catering staff should follow guidelines for preparation of foods for pupils with allergies


  1. Storage


  1. Medications should be securely stored away from the classroom to minimise risk to others and in a place only accessible by staff that are responsible for administering the medication.
  2. Emergency medicines such as asthma inhalers and adrenaline pens should not be kept locked away but always in the vicinity of the relevant pupil.
  3. Medications should be stored in accordance with instructions, paying particular note to temperature and in the original container in which dispensed.
  4. A record should be kept of all medication received, even if it is not subsequently administered.  This provides an audit trail of medicines received administered and returned to parents and carers.
  5. Pupils must not normally keep their own medicines.
  6. Pupils who are considered by the parent/carer to keep their own medicines may do so if this is a controlled drug and they may legally have it in their possession.
  7. School should otherwise keep controlled drugs that have been prescribed for a pupil securely stored.
  8. Only the minimum amount of medication necessary should be stored or provided by a parent/carer for the pupil which should not exceed a week’s supply, except in long-term continuous care arrangements.
  9. Pupils should know where their medicines are kept and how they access their medication and from whom.
  10. Medicines that have passed the expiry date should be given back to the parent/carer.
  11. ‘Free from’ foods should be labelled and kept separately from other foods
  12. In the event of loss, theft or burglary the Headteacher must be informed immediately.


  1. Administration of medication


  1. Members of staff giving medicines should check the packaging for the pupil’s name, prescribed dose, expiry date and written instructions on the packaging. If in doubt about the procedure, staff should not administer the medication but check with parents and/or health professionals, before taking further action.
  2. Medicines must only be administered to the person named on the medication.
  3. Confirm the identity of the pupil to be given the medication.
  4. Ensure pupil has actually taken the medication.  If the pupil refuses to take the medication, they should not be forced to take it.  Parents/carers should be informed as soon as possible.
  5. A record of medicine administered to an individual pupil stating what, how and how much was administered, when and by whom.  Any side effects of the medication to be administered at school/academy should be noted.   
  6. In some circumstances medication is only administered by an adult of the same gender, and should be witnessed by a second adult.
  7. Basic hygiene precautions for avoiding infection should be followed, such as washing and drying hands before and after the administration of medication.
  8. Disposable gloves should be used as appropriate and extra care taken when dealing with blood or other bodily fluids and when disposing of dressings or equipment.



  1. Disposal of medications


  1. Staff should not dispose of medication.
  2. Parents/carers are asked to collect out-of-date medication.
  3. Medicines no longer required should be returned to the parent to arrange for safe disposal.  Sharps boxes should always be used for the disposal of needles and other sharps.
  4. Parents/carers are responsible for ensuring that date expired medicines are returned to a pharmacy for safe disposal.





  1. Individual health-care plan


  1. Pupils on regular medication should have a care plan e.g. asthma, diabetes, ADHD, epilepsy, mobility difficulties. The Headteacher in consultation with the class teacher, parent/carer, support staff and health professionals is responsible for drawing up the care plan.  This should include:-


  • Details about the pupil and his/her condition
  • Name and details of medication, including any side-effects
  • Curriculum Access
  • Special requirements, e.g. dietary needs
  • Arrangements for off-site activities
  • Emergency procedures, who is responsible, what to do, what not to do, who to contact and what constitutes an emergency.


  1. In addition school should seek permission from the parent/carer to allow the     Healthcare Plan to be sent ahead to emergency care staff, should an emergency happen during school hours or at a school activity outside the normal school day.


  1. Emergency procedures


  1. Where possible first aiders should provide essential first aid treatment and make an assessment of any situation arising
  2. Where necessary the ambulance service should be called.  Staff should not take pupils to hospital in their own car in an emergency as this may hinder emergency treatment.  An ambulance should always be called.
  3. Parents should be informed immediately.
  4. Any pupil taken to hospital by ambulance should be accompanied by a member of staff, who should remain until a parent/carer arrives.  Health professionals are responsible for any decision on medical treatment when parents are not available. 


  1. School trips


  1. Consider reasonable adjustments to enable pupils with medical needs to participate fully and safely on visits. This may incorporate risk assessments for such pupils.
  2. A copy of the pupils care plan should be taken on school trips
  3. Staff should be made fully aware of the medical needs of the pupil and procedures for administration of medication and relevant safety procedures.
  4. Any special dietary requirements must be considered for packed lunches on trips


  1. Sporting activities


  1. Most pupils with medical conditions can participate in sports, games and activities.
  2. Some pupils may need to take precautionary measures before and during exercise and may need immediate access to their medication.
  3. Staff supporting and  supervising sporting activities should be aware of the relevant medical conditions, medication requirements and emergency procedures for individual pupils.
  4. Any restrictions on undertaking activities should be appropriately recorded in the pupil’s individual Health Care Plan.


  1. Staff training


  1. Provide training to ensure that pupils get the best medical support possible and know what to do in an emergency.
  2. Training is refreshed for all staff at least once a year.
  3. School will ensure that there are sufficient members of teaching/support staff who manage medicines. 
  4. Catering staff should have the appropriate training for allergy free diets


  1. School Lunch times

11.1 Pupils with allergies should wear their identification lanyard and present it to staff serving food

11.2 Catering staff will prepare allergy free lunches in a separate area with red chopping boards

11.3 A list of the allergy pupils will be displayed in the kitchen, alongside the alternative menu.


  1. Liability and indemnity


  1. Governing bodies should ensure that the appropriate level of insurance is in place.
  2. Policies should provide liability cover relating to the administration of medication, but individual cover may be needed for health care procedures associated with more complex conditions.



Appendix 1        Legislation and guidance


Local authorities, schools and governing bodies are responsible for the health and safety of pupils in their care.


Areas of legislation that directly affect a medical conditions policy are described in more detail in Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings. The main pieces of legislation are the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA), amended by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA) and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2005. These acts make it unlawful for service

Providers, including schools, to discriminate against disabled people. Other relevant legislation includes the Education Act 1996, the Care Standards Act 2000, the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the Medicines Act 1968.


This section outlines the main points from the relevant legislation and guidance that schools should consider when writing a medical conditions policy.


Managing Medicines in schools and early years Settings (2004)


This provides guidance from the DfES (now DCFS) and DH on managing medicines in schools and early years settings. The document includes the following: chapters:

+ developing medicines policies

+ roles and responsibilities

+ dealing with medicines safely

+ drawing up a Healthcare Plan

+ relevant forms.


Medical Conditions at School: A Policy Resource Pack is designed to work alongside Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings.


Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Acts (2001 and 2005)


+ Many pupils with medical conditions are protected by the DDA and SENDA, even if they don’t think of themselves as ‘disabled’.

+ The Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) (previously the Disability Rights Commission) publishes a code of practice for schools, which sets out the duties under the DDA and gives practical guidance on reasonable adjustments and accessibility. The CEHR offers information about who is protected by the DDA, schools’ responsibilities and other specific issues.

Schools’ responsibilities include:


+ not to treat any pupil less favorably in any school activities without material and sustainable justification

+ to make reasonable adjustments that cover all activities – this must take into consideration factors such as financial constraints, health and safety requirements and the interests of other pupils. Examples of reasonable adjustments can be found in the DfES resource: Implementing the DDA in Schools and Early Years Settings*

+ to promote disability equality in line with the guidance provided by the DCSF and CEHR through the Disability Equality Scheme.

*DfES publications are available through the DCSF.


The Education Act 1996

Section 312 of the Education Act covers children with special educational needs, the provisions that need to be made and the requirements local health services need to make to help a local authority carry out its duties.


The Care Standards Act 2000

This act covers residential special schools and responsibilities for schools in handling medicines.


Health and Safety at Work Act 1974

This act places duties on employers for the health and safety of their employees and anyone else on their premises. This covers the head teacher and teachers, non-teaching staff, pupils and visitors.


Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999

These regulations require employers to carry out risk assessments, manage the risks identified and to communicate these risks and measures taken to employees.


Medicines Act 1968

This act specifies the way that medicines are prescribed, supplied and administered.


Additional guidance

Other guidance resources that link to a medical conditions policy include:

+ Healthy Schools Programme – a medical conditions policy can provide evidence to help schools achieve their healthy school accreditation

+ Every Child Matters: Change for Children (2004). The 2006 Education Act ensures that all schools adhere to the five aims of the Every Child Matters agenda

+ National Service Framework for Children and Young People and Maternity Services (2004) – provides standards for healthcare professionals working with children and young people including school health teams

+ Health and Safety of Pupils on Educational Visits: A Good Practice Guide (2001) – provides guidance to schools when planning educational and residential visits

+ Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 – legislation on the storage and administration of controlled medication and drugs

+ Home to School Travel for Pupils Requiring Special Arrangements (2004) – provides guidance on the safety for pupils when traveling on local authority provided transport

+ Including Me: Managing Complex Health Needs in School and Early Years Settings (2005).



Further advice and resources

The Anaphylaxis Campaign

PO Box 275


Hampshire GU14 6SX

Phone 01252 546100

Fax 01252 377140


Asthma UK

Summit House

70 Wilson Street

London EC2A 2DB

Phone 020 7786 4900

Fax 020 7256 6075


Diabetes UK

Macleod House

10 Parkway

London NW1 7AA

Phone 020 7424 1000

Fax 020 7424 1001



Epilepsy Action

New Anstey House

Gate Way Drive


Leeds LS19 7XY

Phone 0113 210 8800

Fax 0113 391 0300



Conditions Alliance

202 Hatton Square

16 Baldwins Gardens

London EC1N 7RJ

Phone 020 7813 3637

Fax 020 7813 3640


Department for Children,

Schools and Families

Sanctuary Buildings

Great Smith Street

London SW1P 3BT

Phone 0870 000 2288

Textphone/Minicom 01928 794274

Fax 01928 794248


Council for Disabled Children

National Children’s Bureau

8 Wakley Street

London EC1V 7QE

Phone 020 7843 1900

Fax 020 7843 6313


National Children’s Bureau

National Children’s Bureau

8 Wakley Street

London EC1V 7QE

Phone 020 7843 6000

Fax 020 7278 9512



















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