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School operations

Continence Care

Policy

This policy outlines strategies that schools can adopt to support students needing continence care to attend school.

Summary

Details

Schools must support students requiring continence care.

This policy does not cover young children for whom continence care is related to their age and level of development.

A range of strategies and actions are available to schools to support students with continence care are outlined below.

Strategies and actions schools may adopt

General

In general, children should be allowed to go to the toilet when they need to go or when a medical need has been identified.

Request advice

Schools should encourage parents or carers to seek professional advice on causes or management of persistent continence issues in cases where advice has not yet been sought.

Develop a plan

It is recommended that schools develop a Health Support Plan which details family and school staff roles and responsibilities.

To inform this plan, schools should request that the student’s medical/health practitioner completes a Personal Care Medical Advice Form — Incontinence.

Where appropriate, schools can use a Personal Hygiene Learning Plan to involve students in step-by-step toileting processes to:

  • self-manage toileting tasks, if possible
  • track students progression as it relates to toileting and personal care

Provide equipment

If it is a reasonable adjustment that the student requires, schools should provide equipment to support continence care, such as hoists and slings.

Definitions

Incontinence
Incontinence is the lack of control over bowel or bladder functions and can be caused by:

  • medical conditions such as gastroenteritis, causing short term incontinence
  • lack of bowel nerve function, causing long term incontinence
  • constipation, causing faecal soiling
  • bladder over-activity, causing day wetting
  • medical intervention, such as a side effect of medication
  • development delay or physical and intellectual disability
  • life experience such as behaviour associated with a history of abuse
  • lack of learning opportunity
Department policy on strategies that schools can adopt to support students needing continence care to attend school

Reviewed 12 February 2021

Policy last updated

15 June 2020

Scope

  • Schools

Contact

Wellbeing, Health and Engagement Division

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