School operations

Health Care Needs

3. Supporting students during transition between hospital, home and school

The following information describes how schools support students during transition between hospital, home and school.


The school in which the student is enrolled retains responsibility for the student’s curriculum when they are in hospital or recuperating at home.

Hospital based education staff may also assist the school in supporting the student.

Maintain connections

School should plan ways to maintain connections with peers and the classroom teacher using a range of communication methods.

Liaise with hospitals

Schools should liaise with hospital-based education staff and therapists to:

  • provide learning programs that maintain continuity of learning
  • determine learning strategies relevant that take into account any changes in the student’s:
    • physical
    • psychosocial, and
    • cognitive capabilities
  • acknowledge all learning outcomes achieved through the hospital-based experience.

Provide additional support

Schools should consider accessing additional support to ease transition between learning settings, such as the visiting teacher service or Student Support Services Officers.

Plan re-entry strategies

Schools should plan re-entry strategies that address:

  • learning
  • support for social and emotional impacts.

Set realistic expectations

Schools should:

  • not expect assessment tasks to be completed immediately upon return to school
  • not expect students to maintain the pace of curriculum participation
  • enable students to participate if and when they feel able.
Guidance chapter 3 on supporting a student transitioning between hospital, home and school

Reviewed 16 January 2023

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