Savefor later Page saved! You can go back to this later in your Diabetes and Me Close

What new schools guidance on mobile phone restrictions in England means for children with type 1 diabetes

school children

The government has published new guidance on restricting mobile phones in schools in England. Here’s what you need to know about how this could impact children living with type 1 diabetes.

We are happy to see that the need for adjustments for pupils with medical conditions is included within this guidance and that diabetes is mentioned specifically.  

This is a positive move that recognises how a phone might be needed to support someone with diabetes at school, such as through using continuous glucose monitoring with a sensor linked to their mobile phone to monitor glucose levels.  

The government says that where mobile phone use allows pupils to manage their medical condition effectively, it would not be reasonable for a school to prevent this. 

Why are mobile phones being restricted in school? 

The government says that its guidelines to restrict mobile phones during lessons and breaks is intended to "minimise disruption and improve behaviour in classrooms". 

Many schools already prohibit the use of phones at school. While this new guidance says that schools should prohibit the use of mobile phones, it adds that schools will be able to decide how they do this. As this guidance is non-statutory, this guidance is advisory but is not a legal requirement. 

Does this only apply in England? 

Yes. The devolved governments of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have not issued complete bans on mobile phones in schools. 

What does this mean for children living with diabetes?  

All children with type 1 diabetes should have an Individual Healthcare Plan (IHP), which should include details of the technology and equipment they need to manage their condition, including if they need to use their mobile phone to scan a CGM, for example.  

An IHP is part of the legal requirement on schools to support pupils living with a health condition, and involves the school working with parents and the child’s specialist medical team to identify the care support needed for that child.  

Schools therefore need to ensure all pupils with diabetes and other medical conditions have an IHP and identify those who will need to use their mobile phone.  

What is happening next?  

This new guidance explains how schools can develop, implement and maintain a policy that prohibits the use of mobile phones in school.  

If you’re a parent or guardian of a child living with type 1 diabetes, we’d encourage you to speak your child’s school to ensure they’re aware of their need to use a mobile phone to manage their diabetes, and to ensure this is in their IHP.  

We are actively engaging with the Department for Education to ensure that children with type 1 diabetes are not adversely affected by these recommendations and that they are receiving the support they need while they are at school.

For more information and support about restrictions on mobile phone use in schools you can ring our helpline with any questions or concerns on 0345 123 2399. 

Read the government’s full guidance.

Back to Top
Brand Icons/Telephonecheck - FontAwesomeicons/tickicons/uk