Missing school

Help your child stay connected.

You are not alone. We have hundreds of conversations with parents every year and will work with you and your child’s school to get the best plan.

Your child matters.

Your child deserves a meaningful education and a sense of belonging in their school, regardless of their health situation. We passionately believe that all children should be seen and heard. We also have the evidence that school connection will keep your child in sync socially, nurturing their resilience and identity as a learner. This offers hope by showing your child that they are worth educating and they haven’t been forgotten. Your child’s school is responsible for continuing education for your child under the Disability Standards for Education. We are here to help.

Sick kids can go to school without going to school

Our free-to-families See-Be robot service connects sick kids to their friends, their learning and their school community when they can’t attend. The robots allow the kids to dial into classes from hospital or home to see and hear, be seen and heard, and take their lessons in real-time. The kids can remotely operate and move their robot around their classroom as if they’re there.

Tips for engaging your child’s school

1.

Find the right person at the school to be a liaison person. This will enable you to share information on the illness and any current concerns, manage your child’s privacy, notify the likely length of any absences, and implement plans for continuity of learning.

2.

Complete any documentation for your child’s safety while at school. Email any critical information to school staff who need it – including the individual learning and health/safety plans – and ensure the information is kept in the student’s records.

3.

Ask for an individual education/learning plan. This can include establishing formal learning, attendance and assessment adjustments for your child, and cover plans for learning and social connection between all places of care (school, hospital, home).

4.

Maintain regular email communication with teachers. Have materials – such as worksheets, handouts, resources, information, assessments, social activities – emailed to you, or put online, so you can partner in supporting your child.

5.

Request one-to-one videoconferencing and telepresence. Ask your child’s school if your child can have individual teaching and learning opportunities with their teacher through videoconferencing and reach out to MissingSchool for a real-time robot in the classroom.

FAQs

Research verifies that there is no safe threshold for absence and missing more than 10 school days per semester increases the likelihood of negative effects on education outcomes. Without school connection, your child’s academic achievement may be hindered, relationships with their peers and teachers disrupted, and isolation from their school community can affect their mental health and wellbeing. School absence increases the risk of disengaging from school and learning, with long-term consequences that may persist into adulthood. Sick kids get lonely and miss their friends and learning – and most want the normality that school life offers, especially when they can’t be there in person.
Having your child’s school maintain connection can keep your child up-to-date socially and academically, help to normalise a critical period in their life, and give them a chance to be “just kids” rather than patients. The potential positive benefits of school connection for your child include improving mental health outcomes, improving educational engagement and attainment, and reducing social isolation. Benefits can extend to keeping peer relationships, and support families by reducing management fatigue.
Schools can help by: collaborating with healthcare services; early intervention and planning with parents; integrated and consistent provision of education across home, school and medical settings; individualised, formalised and actionable agreements and adjustments documenting support for your child; measures addressing your child’s social and emotional needs; and continuous connection between your child, their teachers and peers through real-time assistive telepresence during absences.
The Disability Standards for Education require your school to support your child with access to school facilities, assistive devices, accredited curriculum, and learning alongside their peers. The Standards do not limit equality to physical presence, and students who miss school with a serious illness still have a right to access their schools with the help of assistive devices (including technology) and receive ongoing support. Our robots work like access ramps to give sick and absent students an unmistakable presence in their schools.
Unlike more static technologies (such as Zoom, Teams, or FaceTime, etc.), robots “teleport” in to your child’s classroom. From their remote location in hospital or at home, they can access their classroom. They can see and hear their teachers and classmates, be seen and heard, and move the robot around their classroom using their own device without the teacher’s intervention. The robot allows your child to participate in their lessons in real time, and be included in learning and shared social experiences (lunchtime, playground, assemblies, and ceremonies). As a proxy for physical presence and movement, the robot gives your child independence.

Get in touch

If you or your child need support, our team is on standby to answer any questions you may have. Simply fill out the form or call us on 1300 237 234.



    What next?

    Parent community
    Parent Community
    Join a group of parents and carers where you can find information, talks, and resources, share perspectives, ask questions and experience moral support.
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    Support options
    There are many ways your child’s school can provide extra support, including through special education funding. Our team is available to talk it through.
    Resources
    Robots vs Zoom
    Using telepresence robots versus video conferencing is about increasing your child’s presence and agency in their classroom, even when they’re away.
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