Schools fail to plan adequate care for children with diabetes


More than one in three parents and carers of children with Type 1 diabetes say their children’s school has not planned adequately or at all to clearly set out the support needed for their child at school to help manage their condition, according to an investigation by Diabetes UK.

As part of the investigation, Diabetes UK carried out an online survey of 434 parents of children with the condition.

As well as the finding that 38 per cent do not have a care plan that fully meets their needs in schools, which are seen by experts as vital for ensuring children with Type 1 diabetes are properly cared for at school, it showed that 22 per cent were dissatisfied with their child’s support in school and 14 per cent are concerned their child will not be supported if their child’s blood glucose level falls dangerously low.

The government has launched a consultation into draft guidance about what support schools should provide for the million children who have long-term health conditions such as Type 1 diabetes, asthma and epilepsy.

Diabetes UK has welcomed this new legal protection and the draft guidance, but says the guidance needs strengthening to ensure that the legislation makes a difference to the lives of children with Type 1 diabetes and other health conditions.

Type 1 diabetes is a serious condition and if not managed properly can lead to the child’s blood glucose levels going either dangerously high or dangerously low. In the long term, high blood glucose levels in childhood can increase risk of serious complications such as amputation, blindness and stroke later in life.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive for Diabetes UK, said: “While many children are already well supported at school, it is clear that there are too many cases where support for children with Type 1 diabetes is not good enough. This is putting great financial and emotional pressure on families and holding children back educationally at a time when they are already facing the challenge of coming to terms with a serious lifelong condition."

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