Children and young people with migraine should not be put at a disadvantage at school and in obtaining their education

The Issue

Pile of books on a desk

The support given to children with migraine in schools is inconsistent. Many find that their condition is not understood and has a negative impact on their education.

Children with migraine take on average between 32 days and 3 months off from school due to their migraine compared to the general population who take between 3-13 days off (Abu-Arafeh, Headache Disorders – not respected, not resourced 2010 ). This can have a knock on effect on a young person’s educational attainment, confidence, behavioural problems and their ability to make friends.

Following a campaign by the Alliance the Children and Families Act 2014 included a duty on schools in England to support children with health conditions. The duty was accompanied by statutory guidance from the Department of Education which schools in England must now follow.

Although this is a step in the right direction we know that there continues to be variable and inconsistent support provided to children and young people with migraine.

No child’s education should suffer as a result of their health condition.

What needs to happen?

  • Young people with migraine need to have the same opportunities to fulfill their education as children without health needs.
  • All children young people with migraine should have an individual healthcare plan in place to address their needs.
  • Young people with migraine should not be penalised for missing school because of migraine and must be supported to catch up on work and activities due to attacks.
  • Young people with migraine and their parents/carers should have a clear say in what is needed and how the impact of their migraine can be managed in school.
  • Children and young people with migraine should not face stigma or discrimination in school.

Our Work

The Migraine Trust works collaboratively with a number of organisations and charities under the Health Conditions in Schools Alliance to make sure that children with health conditions get the help in school that they need. We work with the alliance, Department for Education, parliamentarians, policy-makers and schools to ensure that migraine is properly understood and its’ impact addressed.