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Type 1 Diabetes in Schools

Diabetes is a lifelong condition, affecting the hormonal (insulin) mechanism controlling blood sugar, causing a person's blood sugar level to become too high. Diabetes has implications for a child or young person’s schooling and learning.

Every child with Type 1 will have a healthcare plan from their Specialist Diabetes Team. This healthcare plan will identify what support the child will need whilst at school. The 2010 Children, Schools and Families Act and the Children and Families Act 2014 introduced a legal duty on schools to look after children with medical conditions.

Early Years settings and primary schools are usually able to provide support from their own resources to ensure children’s diabetes is managed well. The majority of older children will be fully independent to manage their diabetes care.

In exceptional circumstances some children may require higher levels of support to help them manage their diabetes whilst attending school. For example younger children, those with learning difficulties or those newly diagnosed are likely to need support and assistance from school staff during the school day in the absence of their parents. They may need to have their blood glucose levels checked, eat and administer insulin injections, all at regular intervals throughout the day.

Schools are able to make funding requests to the Islington Education, Health and Care Management Board. Requests must include a supporting letter from the child’s specialist diabetes team outlining why the child has exceptional needs and is requiring additional support whilst attending school. Further information about funding for schools to manage diabetes is set out in the Islington funding policy for children with Type 1 Diabetes in schools.

Some children may require support to manage their diabetes as well as high levels of provision to manage other special educational needs. In these cases it may be necessary to carry out an EHC assessment. Find further information on EHC assessments.