On Wednesday 30 April the UK Government published new legislation on the support which children with medical conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, must receive at school.
The legislation comes after a number of years of campaigning by charities such as Diabetes UK. Over the last few years, there have been a number of well documented cases in which children with type 1 diabetes, and their families, have faced a number of difficulties, from being denied school entrance, to parents needing to give up jobs to manage their child’s diabetes to many children having to routinely miss out on school trips and other important parts of their wider education.
The guidance entitled, Supporting Pupils at School with Medical Conditions, sets out the legal requirements of schools as well as the role and responsibilities of pupils, parents, healthcare professionals and local authorities.
Amongst the key points listed within the guidance are:
All schools must develop a medical conditions policy which is regularly reviewed and is accessible to parents and school staff.
Medication and blood glucose testing kits should be easily accessible to children with type 1 diabetes and this applies to school trips as well.
Children that require help in administering insulin or managing their diabetes should receive appropriate support from the school.
Teachers and school staff should be aware of the medical needs of their pupils and be able to help where needed, such as if hypoglycemia occurs.
Charity, Diabetes UK will be working with the Government and schools to help ensure the new legislation is efficiently put into place. The Type 1 Diabetes: Make the Grade campaign is open to all those who wish to support the charity’s initiative in ensuring schools are supportive of type 1 diabetes.