Welcome to our Parent Zone, which has links to our main resources to help support your child at pre-school, school, college, or university. Click on the segments of the image, or read more below.
If you are a parent or carer of a child with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) and need support for your child at school, you're in the right place.
Ask your school to request a free School Toolkit. These are packed full of information, advice and resources to help the school confidently support a child or young person with JIA. They include slides for use in class or school assemblies, training resources for teachers and school staff, and awareness-raising tools. Please note School Toolkits can only be requested by the setting directly, and we are not able to send to home addresses.
You can request a free Little Box Of Hope support pack for your child diagnosed with JIA, which includes information, books and resources to help you.
Download a copy of My JIA. As well as explaining more about JIA, these include a section dedicated to schools, with lots of tips and ideas for supporting children and young people at school (look for the purple-edged pages in the booklet). A paper copy is also included in the School Toolkit and each Little Box Of Hope.
Print a copy of our School factsheet, which is an at-a-glance single page packed with tips to support children and young people at school.
Our I have JIA cards help children and young people explain their condition to friends, family and school staff. They provide an easy way to outline the key facts about their condition and how it can affect them. These are particularly useful for children and young people with JIA who need to highlight to school staff if they are having a difficult day.
Download a copy of our Hospital Letter and ask your hospital to complete it, print on headed paper, and provide for you to take into school. This letter template has been developed with support from paediatric rheumatologists, parents and teachers to ensure it highlights some of the things that matter to families with JIA that a school may not be familiar with. Being signed by a member of the clinical team can carry more weight and demonstrate just how much of a difference small changes can make.
Download a copy of our IHP Template and share with your school. This template is specifically designed for use for children and young people with JIA. An IHP (Individual Healthcare Plan) helps record the changes and adaptations that your child may need in school in order to be able access education and to thrive in school. Not everything listed will apply to every child, and you will need to consider every aspect of how your child is affected by their JIA to make sure nothing is missed. Work with your school to finalise the document to ensure staff are familiar with what is needed. Rather than provide a blank form, we have included some possible suggestions to be adapted as necessary.
You can access more resources at www.jarproject.org/hope, follow us on social media for suggestions, links and advice, or contact us.
What is an IHP?
An Individual Healthcare Plan (known as an IHP) is a document that is written jointly between the school, parents and children or young people. An IHP is used to record medical needs and care and adaptations needed at school, including emergency arrangements and daily medical care. In an IHP you should record details of your child, their diagnoses (including JIA and any other medical conditions they have) as well as specific information about how that affects them and what the school can do to support them. The aim of an IHP is to ensure school staff have the information they need to support your child. Our template has some examples of things to include, but you will need to add anything extra and take out anything that is not relevant.
Please note that support in schools may be different between the countries of the UK, but many of the ideas can be applied in any educational setting anywhere in the world even if the names of the documents differ.
What is an EHCP?
An Education, Health and Care Plan (called an EHCP) is a legal document which describes a child or young person's special educational needs, the support they need, and the outcomes they would like to achieve. The support listed in an EHCP must be provided by the local authority. The aim of an EHCP is to support children and young people in school where other support (such as an IHP) has not been sufficient. To request an EHCP you will need to speak with your local authority to request an assessment, and usually work with your child's school. You can find out more at https://www.ipsea.org.uk/pages/category/education-health-and-care-plans
Please note that support in schools may be different between the countries of the UK, but many of the ideas can be applied in any educational setting anywhere in the world even if the names of the documents differ. In Scotland, the Co-ordinated Support Plan (CSP) is similar to an EHCP; find out more at https://enquire.org.uk/parents/getting-support/co-ordinated-support-plans/
Why can't I request a School Toolkit myself?
Any pre-school, school, college or University in the UK may request a School Toolkit, free of charge. We've found that where a school (or other educational setting) has requested a Toolkit from us they are much more likely to use the resources in them. It means the Toolkit gets to the right person, who is already expecting it. And that means our limited resources have a much bigger impact. Please ask your school to request a Toolkit from us and we will happily send it out to them.
Do you charge for any of these resources?
No. All these resources are available without charge. Our work is funded entirely by donations and fundraising. If you would like to support our work so that we can be there for more families affected by JIA, please click here.
What is the difference between a SENCO and a SENDCO?
Every mainstream school must have a member of staff who is responsible for overseeing the support given to students. This person is called the SENDCO or SENCO.
SENDCO stands for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator. SENCO stands for Special Educational Needs Coordinator. The terms are both used in schools. We will gradually be moving to 'SENDCO' as printed resources are updated.
Thanks to PlanBee for the clear definitions of these two terms.