Diabetes UK hail ‘historic landmark’ for pupils
The new school term will mark an “historic landmark” for children with Type 1 diabetes with schools in England having a legal duty to support youngsters with long-term health conditions.
The Children and Families Act 2014 comes into effect for the new school year on the back of campaigning by Diabetes UK for legal protection.
A lack of training and understanding has meant some schools do not administer insulin or test the bloods of children with Type 1, or not allow them to have a snack to treat low blood glucose levels. Some children have also found themselves excluded or partially excluded from parts of school life, such as residential trips.
But under the new law, schools need to have a medical conditions policy in place, along with an individual healthcare plan for any children with Type 1 diabetes. Schools must also work with parents and Diabetes Specialist Nurses to make sure children get support and ensure relevant school staff are trained.
As part of Diabetes UK’s Type 1 diabetes: Make the grade campaign, the charity has created free resources to help parents and schools get the right care in place. Along with a new webpage offering detailed information on care in schools, Diabetes UK has produced free advice packs to help schools implement the new rules as well as packs for parents so that they understand what level of support they are now entitled to.
Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “For too long, too many children with Type 1 diabetes have not got the support they need in schools and their health and education has suffered as a result. This has always been a source of great frustration as the fact that lots of schools already do a great job of supporting in children with the condition shows it is possible.
“This is why we are delighted that this new school term marks a historic landmark for children with health conditions, including Type 1 diabetes. It should mean that, for the first time, all children can expect the kind of support that the children who attend the most supportive schools have already been getting.
Chief Executive of Diabetes UK Barbara Young: For too long, too many children with Type 1 diabetes have not got the support they need in schools”
“This will be a huge relief to the many parents who have constantly worried about whether their child will be safe at school and have had to constantly battle to make sure their child gets the support they need in school to stay safe and lead a full and active school life.”
Diabetes UK has already sent out 10,000 packs and the charity said it will continue to work with parents, schools and healthcare professionals to make sure all children with Type 1 get the “greatest possible opportunity” to do well in school. Diabetes UK’s packs have been made possible as part of its partnership with Tesco.
To order Diabetes UK’s school packs, click below: