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New rules to improve school support for children with diabetes

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The Government has today launched new statutory guidance for schools on the support they should give children with medical conditions such as Type 1 diabetes, asthma, epilepsy and heart conditions.

The new statutory guidance will become effective when the new school term starts in September and follows the Government’s decision to include in the Children and Families Act a legal duty on schools to provide the right care and support to children with medical conditions.

Diabetes UK campaigned for this change in the law along with a number of other charities throughout 2013. We know from parents and supporters that while some schools do a great job of supporting children with Type 1 diabetes there are too many examples of children whose schools do not give them the support they need.

"All schools need to have a medical conditions policy"

The new statutory guidance makes it clear that all schools need to have a medical conditions policy in place, along with an individual healthcare plan written for any children with Type 1 diabetes. Schools are also encouraged to work with parents and diabetes specialist nurses so that the child gets the individual support they need.

We helped the Government develop the guidance and many of our supporters contacted the Government to tell them what support they think needs to be in place to support children with long term health needs in school.

As part of our Type 1 Diabetes: Make the Grade campaign we will now be working with schools and the Government to help them put these new rules in place so that all children get the best care possible in school.

"This will make a big difference to the lives of children with the condition"

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “It is really great news that the Government has produced new statutory guidance for schools setting out in practical terms what they need to do to support children with diabetes. We hope this will make a big difference to the lives of children with the condition.

“I would also like to thank all of our supporters who helped us make it clear to the Government why support for children with Type 1 diabetes is so important. They have really helped to ensure that all children with medical conditions get the support they need to participate in their education and lead a full and active school life.”

The statutory guidance is available in full on theDepartment for Education’s websiteand will be issued to schools on 15 May.

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