Family | Patient hub
We provide educational support
Back on Track is a comprehensive educational support service for children diagnosed with, and undergoing, cancer treatment provided by the Children’s Hospital Education Research Institute (CHERI), in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
- To coordinate and support ongoing connectedness to learning and peers
- To coordinate and support a smooth transition back to school
What we do:
1. Advocate for the child
- Back on Track coordinators conduct a school meeting at diagnosis and when the child is ready to transition back to school in consultation with the medical team.
2. Facilitate learning and social connections
- Back on Track coordinators negotiate a support plan for the child to access learning and social support from the school
- Coordinators ensure implementation of the support plan through regular communication with the child, his/her family and school staff re: workflow, teaching/learning sessions, academic progress etc.
3. Transition the child to school: planning and support
- Education Coordinators in conjunction with the Clinical Nurse Consultant liaise with the child’s school to plan for the child’s return to school.
- Education Coordinators negotiate - attendance, access to learning and social connectedness in preparation for return to school
What we offer:
- Learning space for children attending the Oncology Treatment Centre (OTC) where Education Coordinators assist with ongoing learning
- Whole school staff presentations
- School peer presentations
- Bear in the Chair – for K – 2 children who are away from school
- Volunteer tutors on the ward
- Support documentation and Medical letters
- HSC and Beyond: Opportunities and Options - a free information day for patients across the network in the senior years of school
- Back on Track offers a scholarship to a child who has completed the HSC and has secured a placement at University.
Back on Track supports children from Kindergarten to Year 12 across all sectors of education, from the city and suburbs to rural and remote NSW and ACT. Children are supported from diagnosis, through treatment, onto recovery and beyond. Children benefit from a coordinated approach that helps them transition back to school and most are assisted by the program for 12 months.
Our team comprises four dedicated and experienced Education Program Coordinators. Back on Track has also extended its services to provide a French-speaking Education Coordinator Justine Verreydt, a qualified school teacher, who provides educational support and tutoring to children from New Caledonia. This is a service delivered only at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
For more information about Back on Track’s Educational Support please contact:
- Dr Belinda Barton on 98450415 (CHERI)
- Dr Marianne Fernandes on 98450422 (Mon – Thurs)
- Sallwa Hourani on 98450425 (Mon – Wed)
- Donna Gurka on 984504224 (Wed – Fri)
- Justine Verreydt on 0417528056 (French)
Find out more about Back on Track and donate to support their services to help school-aged children diagnosed with cancer.