APPG report calls for schools to take better care of children with diabetes

Jack Woodfield
Wed, 26 Apr 2017
APPG report calls for schools to take better care of children with diabetes
A new report from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has issued a series of recommendations to improve the way schools help children with diabetes.

The report states that common safety risks which often went unnoticed meant there were many unnecessary episodes of delayed treatment, leaving children "unaccompanied and untreated during an emergency".

The APPG for Diabetes is a group of Members of Parliament and Peers with a special interest in the issue of diabetes.

Rt Honourable Keith Vaz, who is the chair of the APPG for Diabetes, said: "Since children spend a third of their lives at school, being able to manage their condition well whilst there will have a positive impact on their health, avoiding complications that will cost the NHS in the long-term."

More than 300 children, healthcare professionals and parents provided written evidence to help the members of the organisation compile the recommendations.

Mr Vaz said: "The APPG has heard from parents and healthcare professionals that far too many schools are not complying with the duty thus putting the safety and inclusion of children with medical conditions at risk."

The APPG's report highlighted that from the evidence collected, it appears schools are treating the duty of care for serious medical conditions as "optional" and only 11.5 per cent of schools, when asked, could demonstrate staff had an adequate policy in place.

The report said: "It is not acceptable to expect individual parents to have to advocate and argue for their child's rights. There is a greater role for the government and education bodies to play to ensure the law is adequately implemented and enforced and that children receive the necessary support."

One recommendation is that the Department of Education takes leadership in awareness of medical conditions in schools, and Ofsted should start monitoring medical condition policies in schools as part of its routine inspections.

The full report can be read here.
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