Young people with chronic illness and education: The Database Project

Young people with chronic illness & education: The Database Project

This project investigates how young people with a chronic illness are supported to progress and achieve in education.   

Young people with chronic illness now live into adulthood due to advances in biomedical science. Their ongoing participation in education is key to an improved quality of life and their economic independence. However, there is little empirical knowledge about the education of children and young people with chronic illness, an issue that resides at the intersection of health, education and disability.

The Ronald McDonald Learning Program assists children with a serious illness to catch up on their school work, following periods of illness and absence from education. Over time, the program's case workers have developed a rich database documenting information about this cohort that could lead to further insights.

Research objective

This project's objective is to elicit and analyse data within the Ronald McDonald Learning Program's database. This project will contribute to what is known about the education of children and young people who face the challenges and disruptions of long term and serious health conditions. 

The Database Project will draw on the work of the Keeping Connected project - a longitudinal study that investigated the identity and social connection of young people whose education was interrupted or affected by illness or accident trauma.

The Keeping Connected project was funded by the Australian Research Council and the Royal Children's Hospital Education Institute. 


The Ronald McDonald Learning Program

Project team

  • Dr Julie White, Lead Researcher, The Victoria Institute
  • Anita Neville, National Operations Manager, Ronald McDonald Learning Program (RMLP)
  • Karen Rosauer, Research Officer, The Victoria Institute


For more information contact:

Dr Julie WhitePhone: +61 3 9919 1844Email: [email protected]

Karen RosauerPhone: +61 3 9919 1113Email: [email protected].