IT’S MORE THAN ACADEMIC
Every year across Australia, around 60,000 students with significant illness or injury miss school and remain at home or in hospital, watching from the sidelines. Some of these students will miss a few weeks, others will miss months, and others will miss years at a time. Being sick doesn’t stop kids from needing to do their most important work, like learning, interacting and having fun with other kids. Having a seriously sick kid doesn’t stop parents from needing schools to do their most important work. Failure to take proactive measures to keep these kids connected to their learning communities when they are absent from school gives rise to a suite of significant challenges to be addressed upon the kid’s return to school. Failure to support these challenges, in school, results in persistent problems across the duration of school life. The outcome can be poor emotional and mental health, poor post-school and employment prospects, and barriers to participating in adult economic life.
Young people with chronic illness are at greater risk of social isolation owing to school absenteeism and lack of participation…together with educational disadvantage, [they may have]…difficulty getting jobs and achieving financial independence as adults. ~ Dr Rod McClymont, Paediatrician and Adolescent Physician, Bathurst Base Hospital, NSW