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Support for type 1 diabetes in schools to become legal requirement

Children with diabetes will benefit from improved support in schools following changes to the Children and Families Bill.
The changes to the Bill were given Royal Assent (approval) by the Queen and the law will come into effect in September 2014. The changes follow a number of years of campaigning by diabetes charity Diabetes UK and also by other charities representing a range of different health conditions including epilepsy and asthma.
Whilst schools will have duty of care to children with medical conditions such as type 1 diabetes, the guidance is set to go through a consultation period whereby the government will take on board feedback submitted by parents, carers and people with type 1 diabetes and will listen to charities such as Diabetes UK.
Charity Diabetes UK reports that, to date, one in three children do not have a school care plan and that one in four do not get support from a member of staff in managing their diabetes. Many children have also have missed out on a number of key activities, including trips, which cause children to miss out on education, feel left out and experience a negative impact on morale and social inclusion. The current situation has also had a wider effect on families, with some parents needing to give up day jobs to be able to provide care for their children at school.
Children with type 1 diabetes, and their parents, will welcome the changes which should improve children’s wellbeing at school, give them a better feeling of inclusion in all activities and should provide a better chance to fulfil their academic potential.

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