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During school life, a child may need to spend some time in hospital due to illness, accident or for treatment of a particular medical condition.

The Hospital Education Service (HES) exists to offer education to children and young people in such circumstances and provides support emotionally as well as educationally.

The HES is part of East Ayrshire Support Team (EAST). It provides support for children and young people of school age who:

  • have been admitted to hospital for an extended period
  • are frequently readmitted to hospital

The HES is made up of a teacher who works as part of a multi-disciplinary team.  A principal teacher has first line responsibility for the HES.  

The HES teacher undertakes additional personal study to remain abreast of current best practice around education in hospital and is a member of associated national groups including Hospital Organisation of Pedagogues in Europe (HOPE).

Referral procedures

Referrals to the HES come through medical team, educational establishments, educational psychologist, parents and carers.

The HES contributes to the authority’s support policies and procedures to reflect best practice as detailed in the Education (Additional Support for Learning) (Scotland) Act 2009 and Standard Circular 82 through:

  • consultation, liaison, advisory support
  • curriculum and staff development
  • direct teaching 
  • supporting early identification and assessment 

What the service does

Consultation, liaison, advisory support

  • Links with base schools  are maintained to ensure continuity and progression of education, and consistency of approach and material used
  • Participates in multi-disciplinary meetings for planning and review

Curriculum and staff development

  • Provides guidance to colleagues in educational establishments who are making provision for learners who will access or have accessed the HES
  • Delivers career-long professional learning (CLPL) opportunities for colleagues to increase knowledge and understanding in this area
  • Provides training to NHS colleagues on the HES and offers advice on educational matters
  • The hospital teacher contributes to various working groups within the NHS, some of which have included introduction of insulin pumps, communication passport, research on children’s views of hospitalisation

Direct teaching

  • Ward 1B has a well-equipped classroom where patients not confined to bed are engaged in educational and recreational activities
  • Teaching takes place at the bedside for those patients who are unable to attend the class base
  • The hospital teacher also supports patients of school age within adult wards
  • Maintaining health and wellbeing is an essential element of recovery - therefore the HES provides a holistic approach incorporating support from a range of sources including:
    • clown doctors
    • scouts
    • TCV
    • country park rangers
    • creative minds team
    • departments within the hospital 
  • Pupils attending the HES are often involved in working on NHS initiatives and have recently created a series of ‘Top Tips for Teeth’ in partnership with the Oral Health Team
  • Currently working on the 'Royal Horticultural Society Schools Gardening Project’ and have gained certification up to level 3

 Support early identification and assessment

  • Contributes to ongoing assessment of pupils whilst in hospital

Parental links

Communication with parents and carers is maintained regarding the educational progress of their child whilst they are in hospital. The hospital teacher speaks with parents and carers on a daily basis, also offering support in a pastoral capacity through what can be an anxious and difficult time.

On discharge, a report is issued to the parents and carers of long term pupils.

Policy statement

Download the Hospital Education Service's Policy Statement (PDF 768Kb).

Contact Information

East Ayrshire Support Team (EAST)
Crosshouse Campus
Playingfield Road
Telephone: 01563 554974