Living with children's cancer

For teachers and educators

School friends and teachers can be affected by the diagnosis of cancer in a student. They may seek help in informing and speaking with classmates and friends of a child with cancer. Privacy issues are extremely important and any information and discussion must be approved by the child’s parents or guardian. 

For information on how your school can support a child and their family, see Cancer in the School Community - A guide for staff members.

This resource provides ways for school staff to:

  • support a student throughout their cancer journey
  • help the child’s classmates understand what is happening
  • help a student return to school after treatment.

Many hospitals provide age-specific education for teachers and carers. Most paediatric treatment centres also have an educational psychologist, counsellor or school liaison officer who can talk to your school about children’s cancer, so you can better understand what the child is going through and how to best support them and their family.

There are a number of organisations that also provide support in the education of children with cancer:

  • is an online parent-run organisation that provides advice and parent support on education issues for your child
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities provides programs including educational support and accommodation near treatment centres
  • Redkite provides emotional and mental health support, financial assistance, and practical support to children and teens (0-18) with cancer and their families.
  • Canteen helps young people (aged 12–24) cope with their own cancer, or cancer in their family. Also see Canteen's freely available online books and resources for young people who have cancer (suitable for ages 12–15 years).

For a list of national consumer organisations and peak community-funded organisations, see Where to find support.