Supporting young people with arthritis at school

The Young People and Family Service is currently working on more school resources for healthcare professionals to use when in discussions with families and schools, and these resources will cover a range of ways to best support the young person with arthritis in their school.

To support this, Versus Arthritis assembled a Young Experts panel of 11-16 year olds living with arthritis to help create developmentally appropriate health information and inspiring stories in formats that young people would find accessible.

So far, the Young Expert project has led to a new teacher's booklet that can be ordered for free (contact APS on 0800 515 209) and an information hub for school staff. And launching this spring, we have a new set of films for young people, school staff and friends – created with an amazing group of young people from across the UK.

The Young Experts told us they wanted content that delivered a mix of facts, tips, tricks and stories from young people with lived experience of their condition. Overwhelmingly the area identified as a priority for more support was schools. Life at school, just like life in general, can at times be tough for a young person with arthritis.

The Young Experts felt that their experiences at school could often have an influence on how they coped with pain, fatigue and their condition generally. And they wanted a range of new resources and support for young people, parents, school staff and peers.

The Young Experts said the first-place young people turn for information was their medical team. Our aim over the next year is to continue to add to a helpful range of resources that healthcare professionals can easily share with young people and families. Take a look at our Young People information hub and healthcare plan template (PDF) – and watch out for more resources as they are released. By sharing these, you could make a real difference and support a young person to thrive at school.

If you would like more information on any of the above, please contact