A comprehensive report into the challenges facing kids who miss school due to significant injury or illness aims to improve outcomes for an estimated 60,000 seriously ill Australian students. Go here to find the report – School Connection For Seriously Sick Kids: who are they, how do we know what works and whose job is it? – released on 12 October, 2015, at Parliament House Canberra.
The notion of “inpatient truancy” is interesting and perhaps closer to the truth than is immediately apparent. A kid who is playing truant is a kid who is escaping or avoiding being where he is supposed to be, and that’s exactly what every sick kid in his heart of hearts would like to do.
You might be interested in an article Judy McKinty, ‘The Play Lady’, has just had published in the International Journal of Play. It’s about a past project to bring kids’ play and traditional games to patients in the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, as a bridge between their lives inside the hospital and outside in the schoolyard.
We applaud the efforts of Dave King, from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Dave took on the challenge this year of running a marathon in every state of Australia, to raise funds for the Back on Track program which supports the educational, social and welfare needs of kids undergoing cancer treatment. Back on Track is funded by the Fight Cancer Foundation in Victoria, coordinated by the Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute in Melbourne, and provided in NSW by the Children’s Hospital Westmead. Most recently, on 27 July 2013, Dave completed the Outback Marathon in the Northern Territory in just over 4.5 hours. Still to come are the Adelaide Marathon on 25 August (SA), the Ross Marathon on 1 September (Tasmania), and Blackmores Sydney Marathon on 22 September (NSW). Dave is accompanied on every run by a Children’s Hospital Bandaged Bear, a constant reminder of the kids who have inspired him. To support Dave, visit his website at Have Bear Will Run.
Prior to our 2013 Annual General Meeting, MissingSchool is holding a small consultation process to help inform our planning. It will be in Canberra, on Wednesday 26 June from 1.00-3.00 pm. We are inviting people who have useful and informed perspectives to contribute. To join us, call 0400 241 900, or email Cathy Nell. Invitees include: ACT Council of Parents and Citizens ACT Education and Training Directorate ACT Health Association of Parents and Friends of ACT Australian Catholic University Australian Child & Adolescent Trauma, Loss and Grief Network (Australian National University) Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth Canberra Hospital School Centre for Research and Action in Public Health, University of Canberra Children’s Healthcare Australasia Families ACT Independent Schools Council of Australia MissingSchool management committee and members Parent Support Group, Catholic Education Office Parents and carers of seriously sick kids Pediatrics Staff at the Canberra Hospital People who work with seriously sick kids Ronald McDonald Learning Program and Pathways Project Sydney Children’s Hospital (Kids Cancer Centre & Behavioural Sciences Unit) University of Canberra