Diabetes UK has launched a new helpline to help ensure children with Type 1 diabetes get the support they need to make the most of their time at school.
The Care in School Helpline has been launched as part of the charity’s Type 1 diabetes: Make the Grade campaign, capsule which aims to make sure children with Type 1 diabetes are healthy and happy at school. Supported by the charity’s National Charity Partnership with Tesco, the new helpline will provide phone and email support to parents who are trying to ensure their child receives the assistance they require at school.
Sally Caldwell, Diabetes UK Care in School Helpline Manager, said: “We know that while many schools offer fantastic support for children with Type 1 diabetes, some parents can really struggle to get the support that their child needs to make the most of their time at school. Our new helpline will help ensure parents are supported in getting the help children with diabetes need during the school day.
“The Care in School Helpline is staffed by volunteers who have been specially selected, fully trained and have experience of diabetes. They may be parents of a child with diabetes or they may have Type 1 diabetes themselves and understand the day to day practicalities of living with the condition.”
Difficulties pupils have encountered include teachers refusing to help with administering insulin or not allowing them to have a snack to treat dangerously high or low blood glucose levels. Crises in their condition can go unsupported and in the worst case scenarios the child’s health can be put at serious risk. Some children also face discrimination in relation to participating in school trips and extra-curricular activities, which means they will feel excluded from leading a full and active school life.
In addition to advice packs created as part of Type 1 diabetes: Make the Grade campaign, Diabetes Scotland has worked with the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland, in collaboration with teachers, parents, young people and healthcare professionals, to create Making Connections. The publication outlines the minimum expectations of support for children and young people with diabetes in education in Scotland with clear guidelines for teachers, parents, healthcare professionals and the children themselves.
Jane-Claire Judson, National Director of Diabetes Scotland, said: “The old adage ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ never rings more true than when referring to a child with a long term health condition such as diabetes. The responsibility of care for a child with diabetes is a team effort which is why we have worked together with the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland to produce Making Connections which identifies and shares good practice. The publication helps empower those involved in the care of a child with diabetes and ensures they are confident in meeting their responsibilities.”
To order free Make the Grade packs or contact the Care in School Helpline, call 0345 123 2399 or go to www.diabetes.org.uk/schools.
To download Making Connections go to www.diabetes.org.uk/Scotland or to request hard copies, for yourself and your school, contact Diabetes Scotland on 0141 245 6380.