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Liz speaks at National Association for Hospital Education Conference

[23/10/2019 | No comment]

On Friday 18th October I spoke at the National Association for Hospital Education (NAHE) annual conference in Leicester.

Around 360,000 children and young people a year are persistently absent from school because of a physical or mental illness. This can have a real impact on their education and later life chances, including the likelihood that they will go on to further or higher education, or get a job in the career of their choice. It can also affect children’s sense of self-confidence and mental well being, and have a knock on effect on their wider family.

I first learnt about the importance of this issue when I visited Willow Bank Day School in Leicester, which provides education for up to 70 young people who are unable to attend their usual secondary school because of ill health.

However, far too little attention has been paid to this issue by national politicians and policy makers compared, for example, with the amount of focus that is rightly put on children who are excluded from school due to behavioral issues, which affects roughly the same number of children and young people.

I believe this can and must change and I will continue to work with the NAHE to raise the profile of the issue and why it is so important for individuals, families and society as a whole.

You can read my speech here.

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