A number of students at Adelaide West Special Education Centre are absent from school for significant lengths of time due to their general physical frailty. Some students spend regular periods of time in hospital. Issues around changes in medication and the medical management of specific conditions can result in longer than usual absences Common childhood illnesses can become serious for some students enrolled at Adelaide West Special Education Centre. Families are encouraged to keep their children home when they have common ailments because of the possible harmful effect on the health of other students.
The management of students’ specific health and disability issues often requires attendance at appointments for medical intervention and/or equipment fitting and modifications. Such appointments are made at the convenience of the service providers and the family. Most usually result in one or more days of absence from school.
Most students live at a distance from Adelaide West Special Education Centre and require access to school via DECD bus/Access taxi transport. Bus and taxi schedules do not accommodate half- day attendance at school.
DOCUMENTATION and RECORD KEEPING
The staff member on duty records student attendance when buses or taxis arrive and depart school. Class teachers are responsible for the recording of student absences on class roll sheets on a weekly basis providing known details of reasons for absence.
Absence data is collected and recorded weekly, collated each term and reported annually.
EXTENDED and UNEXPLAINED ABSENCE
Families should inform the school of absences and any other attendance related matters, preferably by phoning the school Administration officer or via the student’s school diary. Bus and taxi drivers will usually deliver written notes if asked. Drivers are not permitted to convey verbal messages.
Families have a responsibility to:
- enable their child to attend punctually and regularly on every occasion that education is offered and to comply with the education program being offered
- provide an explanation to the school whenever their child is absent
- apply for an exemption whenever their child is removed from school for an extended period of time
In the case of unexplained absence when students are absent for periods longer than 3 school days, families will be contacted by Administration staff.
POLICY - HYGIENE/TOILETTING OF STUDENTS
Students at Adelaide West Special Education Centre require a high level of personal hygiene support on a regular basis.
Adelaide West Special Education Centre has facilities that maximize safe and dignified practices for students and staff, and continence care support to students is provided as per the individual’s Health Support Plan and Continence Care Plan (if provided). Staff work with families to plan support for students who have a predictable need for additional support with continence care.
Staff members adhere to individual a student’s Negotiated Education Plan (NEP) in relation to toilet needs and specific toilet programs. Transfer and Positioning Plans provided by health professionals e.g. Novita Children’s Services and Adult Specialist Services Intervention and Support Team (ASSIST) detail procedures for moving students when providing continence care.
A staff member who is identified to provide physical and/or emotional support in the care of the student should be informed of the student’s needs at the time of developing the Health Support Plan and NEP at enrolment. Conversations should always be purposeful and related to the care, wellbeing and dignity and privacy of the child – and family. Students’ health needs should never be a point of public discussion amongst staff.
Volunteers and school work placement students are not to be involved in student personal hygiene routines. Students undertaking TAFE or Disability studies are able to be involved in observing and assisting in personal hygiene routines under strict supervision of trained Adelaide West Special Education Centre staff during their work placement.
If a manual lift needs to be performed, staff are reminded that students at Adelaide West Special Education Centre are generally a two person lift. Manual lifting of students is minimised for O.H.S. & W. reasons for both students and staff.
Provision of aids and equipment
Provision of continence management aids and changes of clothing is the responsibility of the family. Disposables should be labelled to ensure they are accessed for the appropriate student. Sufficient number of disposables should be supplied to allow for adequate changes daily. Families may choose to supply disposables in bulk. A fresh change of clothes for students should be supplied.
In order for their specific personal care and hygiene needs to be met, students require the use of specialised equipment. This may include:
- Toilet Support Station
- Back supports
- Toilet rings
- Toilet chairs
- Toilet hand rails
- Hydraulic change beds
- Overhead tracking hoist system
All equipment must be well maintained and serviced regularly.
Specialised equipment to support continence/hygiene care is obtained from Special Education Resource Unit (SERU) and Novita Children’s Services after therapist recommendation.
Staff will receive specific lifting and handling training as part of their induction to working at Adelaide West Special Education Centre and be provided with training in the use of all specialised equipment for use with students.
Adelaide West Special Education Centre provides the following continence management aids in line with OHS&W: chux, paper towels, soap, disinfectant, gloves, blue sheets, and nappy disposal units.
Safe work practices (See DECD Infection Control Code of Practice)
Staff should call upon their First Aid and standard Universal Precaution procedures to ensure safe, prompt support is provided. These procedures include:
- Wash hands before and after each disposable change/hygiene support
- Wear gloves at all times
- Wash student’s hands if they have come in contact with potentially infectious areas
- Have supplies including change of clothes in reach and accessible before changing the student
- Disinfect and wipe down change table, toilet chairs and surfaces down after every change
- Dispose of nappies and wipes immediately and appropriately
- Dispose of hygiene waste and wipes immediately, appropriately in a safe manner especially where separate hygiene disposal is necessary due to likely spread of bacterial viruses
- Never leave a student unsupervised – either on a change table or in the change area
- Use safety rails on change tables at all times
- Wash hands in a thorough manner according to O.H.S. & W. guidelines on display in each toilet/hygiene area
- Ensure any open cuts or wounds are well covered
- Nappy rash cream/talc cannot be used unless detailed in the individual’s Health Support Plan
- Be observant for any marks/bruises…report to senior staff if there are concerns
- Contact parents immediately if there are foreign objects in stools or significant change in consistency e.g. diarrhea
Staff are to be made aware of the possibility of infection from bacterial staph and other bacterial viruses for example CMV, Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus. (MRSA ) in the community. Acquired MRSA (CaMRSA) can cause skin and other more serious infections. It can spread from person to person via direct contact, hands, towels and personal grooming items. Avoid sharing items and wash hands thoroughly, especially after touching skin infections.
Protective Practices of Staff in their Interactions with Children and Young People
Staff working at Adelaide West Special Education Centre will be provided with a copy of “Protective Practices of Staff in their Interactions with Children and Young People”.
The section entitled. The ‘Legal Issues and professional boundaries for adults working or volunteering with children and young people, (page 8), describes our ‘Duty of Care’ and ‘Professional Boundaries’ document goes on to list examples of violations of these boundaries. The following specific violation is listed; ‘Place – Using toilet facilities allocated to children and young people’ (page 9)
It is Adelaide West Education Centre’s policy that there must always be two staff members present when undertaking personal care and hygiene procedures. Personal protection of students and staff is paramount at all times. Do not place yourself or students at risk by being alone with students. This is in accordance with DECD “Protective Practices of Staff in their Interactions with Children and Young People”.
The dignity and respect of students during personal care and hygiene is to be maintained at all times and includes physical and emotional dignity, personal privacy and the development of independence
Staff are to ensure that curtains are drawn around students during personal care, student privacy respected and private body parts are covered during personal hygiene changes or when a change of clothing is required e.g. swimming times.
Staff toilets are provided in the school foyer. In addition the toilet adjoining the Independent Living Unit and the accessible toilet adjoining the First Aid room may be used by staff. Staff are not to use the toilet/hygiene areas designated for student use. This is for the safety of both students and staff and applies to ALL staff, visitors and volunteers.
At no times are staff to use toilets that are for student use. Whilst at Novita swimming pool, all staff are to access staff toilet areas near foyer and theatre area.
When undertaking student personal care DECD staff are mandated reporters and are obliged to respond to any concerns regarding suspected abuse and neglect – e.g. any signs of unusual bruising, bleeding, poor personal hygiene -
Responding to Abuse and Neglect – Education Care details for reporting: Phone 131478
It is strongly suggested that when undertaking personal care procedures it is best to “talk through your actions” to make students and others are aware of what is happening e.g. explain to student that “I need to wipe your private body areas to dry you after swimming”
Male staff members are able to assist in personal care of female students only to the point of preparing a student for changing. A male staff member must remove himself prior to a female student’s disposable being removed /changed. The male staff member can return to assist in transfer after this time. Whilst at swimming it is strongly advised that if a male staff member is present, he would undertake to change male students together with a female staff member present.