Referrals and school policies

Referrals and school policies

Once you suspect that a child might be living with ADHD, you will need to consider referring them for further assessment. There are also certain laws and confidentiality procedures you must follow.

The referral process

ADHD is diagnosed by specialists. However, different professions, including teachers and Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCOs), play a key role in the referral to specialist services. Knowledge about how a child behaves, performs and interacts at school can be crucial to the diagnosis of ADHD.

The law

Schools are required by law to ensure that children with ADHD, as for other disorders affecting educational, social and emotional welfare, are included and not discriminated against in the classroom. See the legal rights of children with ADHD section for more information.


Confidentiality can be an issue when dealing with children who have ADHD. Whilst the confidentiality of the individual must be respected, it is essential that the Head Teacher is aware of the nature and dosage of any medication prescribed for any child in the school. The Head Teacher must also have the discretion to inform any other members of staff on a "Need To Know" basis.

The Board of Governors should be informed that there is a child in the school undergoing such treatment, but not the name of the child. One Governor should be delegated to act with the Head Teacher to oversee the implementation of the policy and this Governor should be made aware of the child in question.

The parent(s) or guardian(s) of the child are entitled to know the names of all persons aware of their child's treatment.
These policies need to be considered in school in the context of ADHD.



Visit our resource centre for useful information and helpful activities for parents, teachers and teenagers living with ADHD.

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