What the resource is
The resource is a website to provide information to School and healthcare professionals who are working with pupils with medical conditions. The website is visually well laid out and engaging. It is easily navigable, having four major sections, a menu down the left hand side and a statement of purpose all contained within the front page.
The aims of the resource
The website is visually appealing, well laid out and states clearly the intended audience of professionals. It was nice to see that on the front page there are clear links to Every Child Matters and that these criteria can all be met by drafting a Medical Conditions Policy.
The four main areas of the website are found in easily identifiable boxed sections on the opening page and cover:
- What is a Medical Conditions at School Policy?
- Find out more about common medical conditions
- Order the Medical Conditions Policy Pack
- More about the school healthcare professional's pack
The first topic ‘What is a Medical Conditions at School Policy' can be accessed either through clicking on the box. This enables a reader to understand what a Medical Conditions Policy is, how this is important to support pupils, where this sits in relation to other school policies and how this links to current government legislation. At the bottom of this section is a link to learn more about policy information. This link can also be found at the bottom of the home page and is also accessible through clicking on box three on the front page entitled ‘Order the Medical Conditions Policy Pack. Accessing this information via any of the options outlined above takes the visitor to the site to a very informative and well laid out page giving details of the pack, its target audience, its purpose, its contents and its contributors.
Key UK based organisations including Asthma UK, Diabetes UK , The ‘Anaphylaxis Campaign, Epilepsy Action' and the ‘Long Term Conditions Alliance' have collaborated to produce the downloadable Policy Resource Pack. These are extremely credible; children centred organisations and support the validity of the document as relevant to its targeted audience. The four medical conditions contained within the pack reflect the four contributing organisations and are classed as the main medical conditions any school environment will encounter; asthma, diabetes, epilepsy and anaphylaxis.
The contents of the downloadable Policy Resource pack are well described with each section being separately covered. There are two sections available to download; one relating to Policy and one containing Forms. In order to download these documents however, membership is required. Membership is free and is easily activated via email. However, a further registration is required in order to obtain the downloadable files. Again, this is easily completed but the process maybe simplified by amalgamating the dual registration process so that visitors to the site complete only one registration process which then enables them to gain membership and access the download documents.
If you register as a member on the site you can access all the PDF's available. These contain the Policy Resource Pack plus the supporting pdf's giving information about medical conditions.
The second box on the front page entitled ‘Find out more about medical conditions' offers visitors to the site the opportunity to learn more about asthma, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, diabetes and anaphylaxis. Clicking on any of the header options for these conditions takes the visitor to a separate page with well laid out brief information on each condition. At the same time the left hand menu expands to enable easy navigation through this sub-section. At the end of each brief summary is a link to download further information about each medical condition to enable the reader to study this in further depth. The download available for each medical condition comprises of booklet and poster in pdf format. These are extremely well presented with excellent consistency in presentation of both their format and content. Each downloadable booklet has been written with information provided by the appropriate expert body associated with the medical condition, giving added validity to the materials produced.
The fourth box entitled ‘More about the school healthcare professional's pack' is a separate resource which provides powerpoint presentations and notes to enable school healthcare professionals to provide 30 minute information sessions to other school staff on the main medical conditions; asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and anaphylaxis. This page also provides details of the aims of the sessions and the learning outcomes. A links at the foot of the page gives the reader access to further information and links to the relevant resources. However, the penultimate paragraph on this page advises that these free resources are only available to school health professionals. The reviewer could not therefore access the materials to check their quality but would presume the quality to be equal to that of the rest of the resource. The reviewer, although registered and logged in, presumes that the registration field requesting the job title is used as a filter to access these materials.
In addition to the four main featured areas of the website there are the usual navigational buttons giving access to the websites contact details and an ‘about us' page which gives details of the organisation and the charities which have supported the design and construction of the information.
Sections of the website have been updated at various times during recent months.
Key findings or focus
The website is an excellent resource to support the knowledge base of any staff working with children with the five medical conditions covered and to enable key school healthcare professionals to supplement this knowledge for their colleagues through a base of training materials. The quality of the website is mirrored in the downloadable resources available including:
- Medical Conditions Policy
- Medical Conditions Booklets & Posters
This website enables every school to be able to support children with medical conditions by creating a Policy ensuring current Government legislation and guidelines are implemented in educational settings.
The quality, authority and credibility of the resource
The website is a high quality, user friendly resource supported by credible, authoritative organisations who are experts in the field of each medical condition covered.
The implications for ITE tutors/mentors
ITE Tutors and Mentors could utilise the resource as a practical exercise for groups of ITE students. Each group could utilise the resources on the website to give presentations for each of the Medical Conditions. This would give students experience of researching and utilising resources, oral presentation skills and a knowledge base of each Medical Condition.
The relevance to ITE students
The resource provides important information on a range of Medical Conditions which will be present in any school setting. This information is presented in an accessible format and will give students additional skills in using IT resources to source and extend their skills. Furthermore, the resource introduces key legislation relevant to the area enabling students to link issues with Government guidance. As a learning exercise students will gain a clear overview of the relationship between policy and practice.