Making sure children and young people stay engaged with their education while they receive treatment for cancer is one of the fundamental ways Fight Cancer Foundation helps reduce the long term impact of cancer.
The Need for Education Support
Each year, more than 950 children and teenagers are diagnosed with cancer in Australia. On average, young learners with cancer are absent from school for up to six months during treatment and recovery.
This prolonged absence can result in devastating consequences at a crucial time in a young person’s education, leading to life-long consequences. Many drop class levels when they return to school and find it difficult to reengage with their education, as well as becoming socially isolated.
How Our Program Helps
Our specially designed education support programs operate in partnership with four major paediatric hospitals across Australia.
The program caters to children and young people living with cancer who are undergoing or recovering from treatment. The program enables learners to maintain their education and connection with their school and school friends. The programs are delivered on oncology wards, out-patient clinics and through online applications.
Our team of teachers and support staff work with families and schools to develop individual support and learning plans that meet the educational, social and welfare needs of young learners. They also provide one-on-one tutoring, online learning sessions and group learning activities.
Education Support Program Locations
The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne
In partnership with The Royal Children’s Hospital Education Institute, Fight Cancer Foundation launched its pilot education support program for kids and young people living with cancer in 2005.
The program helps learners from as young as three continue with their education while they receive treatment for cancer.
The Children's Hospital at Westmead
In 2006 Fight Cancer Foundation’s education support program expanded to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and is delivered in partnership by The Children’s Hospital Education Research Institute.
The program provides individual and group sessions to engage kids living with cancer.
Sydney Children's Hospital, Randwick
Fight Cancer Foundation and The Children’s Hospital Education Research Institute expanded the reach of the Back on Track education support program to The Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick as part of the Sydney Hospital Network.
The program was officially launched in August 2015 by Fight Cancer Foundation patrons Deborra-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman.
Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide
Back on Track launched in 2016 at The Women’s and Children’s Hospital and is delivered in partnership with the Department for Education and Child Development Hospital School SA at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, supported by Team Kids – Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation.
The hospital’s footprint also captures children and young people living with cancer from Northern Territory – ensuring they also receive education support during treatment and recovery.
Medical staff at each of these paediatric hospitals work closely with our Education Support Program Coordinators to ensure school aged children receiving treatment for cancer have access to our programs.
Education Support in Action
"Luca was able to focus on something other than what treatment he was receiving or what drugs were being pumped into him.”
"Through all this, only a couple of things have kept Jaz going. Her teacher Julia is one of them. Without her, Jaz would be very, very behind in school.”
"I had just started Year 12 and was worried about missing so much school. Fight Cancer Foundation came to my rescue and funded a teacher."