GOOD NEWS. We all know how our schools and education authorities react to ‘unauthorised absences’ yet for those children with CF who spend weeks at a time in hospital receiving treatment it can feel like their school and the ‘system’ conveniently forget about them and ignore their educational needs.
After concerns raised by some of our local Guernsey parents, Richard and I have been having some extremely constructive and encouraging discussions with Nick Hynes, Director of Learning, Performance and Intervention at Education Services here in Guernsey and paediatric consultant Peter Standring.
The proposal is to use the Island’s Education Other Than At School (EOTAS) teacher to come on to the ward 3 times a week, for an hour at a time, for one to one tuition. In addition, the youngster can be enrolled in a virtual classroom tute, using a supplied ‘notebook’ type device with headset and attend a ‘virtual’ class listening to a real teacher (who can see you). Whilst he/she may be teaching a number of students at any one time, you can only see him, not the other students, however, it is possible to interact with the entire class through a txt scratch pad. The subject options are huge. The EOTAS teacher can be used to either support and follow up on these lessons, support and assist with work set by your school or teach a specific topic.
Education, our paediatric consultants and nursing staff will meet (a meeting to which Richard and I will be invited) to discuss practicalities and identify other children, besides those with CF, who may benefit from this service during extended stays at the PEH. A test will also be carried out to establish the reliability of the wards WiFi signal.
We have been incredibly impressed by the engagement we have seen by Education and are confident this will happen. If you want to learn a little more about tute then please follow the link. Please feel free to contact me (Mike) or Richard if you have any questions or points you want us to take forward to the next meeting. Our contact details are on the website.