The INSCHOOL Project

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The INSCHOOL project is a 5 year National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) funded research programme looking at the school lives of young people (11-18) living with long-term physical health conditions. Our 2022 systematic review revealed six common themes in previous research: ’keeping up/catching up/missing out/looking forward’; ’identity’; ’relationship with peers’; ’normality and difference’; ’autonomy’; ’relationships with staff’. We recommended that while attendance and attainment remain important, there is clearly more that needs to be considered when gathering data, designing interventions and developing policies to support this population. 

We then went on to gather first-hand accounts of the experiences of young people aged 11-18 living with long-term physical health conditions across eleven clinical groups at Leeds Children’s Hospital. 89 young people participated, creating a unique qualitative data set. Analysis of this data defined six fundamental needs young people had in school: Need to safely manage my health at school; Need for a flexible education pathway; Need to be acknowledged and listened to in the right way; Need to be included in a supported by the school community; Need to build towards my future; Need to developed attitudes and approaches to help me cope in school. This research showed that young people with long-term physical health conditions have unmet health, academic, psychological, and social needs within school. 

The INSCHOOL project has gathered unique information about the school lives of young people with long-term physical health conditions and is now able to use this information to develop a needs assessment tool that can be used in health, education and research contexts.

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