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Safe in school campaign hits Parliament

All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for diabetes discusses children with medical conditions in school 

14 March 2017

Our campaign to win quality Type 1 diabetes care in school went to Parliament this week, as a packed out meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Diabetes heard moving testimonies from parents experiencing poor care for their children at school.

Since the success of Diabetes UK's'Type 1 diabetes: Make the grade' campaignin 2014, all schools in England by law should have a policy to keep children with medical conditions like Type 1 diabetes safe. But our latest research has indicated that almost 90 per ​​cent of schools could not demonstrate they had an adequate medical conditions policy.

Simple changes are preventative

At the meeting, MPs heard the real consequences of this failure in stark terms, from parents including Louise who startedthe petition the Health Conditions in School Alliance. She told MPs how her daughter had a severe hypo that put her life at risk, which could have been avoided had a policy been in place to guide staff.

Following the testimony of parents, MPs heard from Diabetes UK Make the grade Programme Manager Thalie Martini about how simple changes could prevent children with medical conditions suffering in school.

Thalie told MPs that the Health Care in School Alliance, which Diabetes UK chairs, was calling on:

  • Ofsted to start routinely checking if schools had adequate policies
  • The Department of Education to do more to help schools put adequate polices in place

What will happen next?

Meeting Co-Chair Caroline Ansell MP said she was glad to hear there was a "blueprint," for solving the problems parents had shared.  Several other MPs at the meeting pledged to work with schools in their areas to put polices in place to keep children with Type 1 diabetes safe. We'll be providing them a template letter to contact their local schools.

And we'll be keeping up the pressure on a national scale. Dozens of Diabetes Voices and concerned parents wrote to their MP to ask them to attend this week's meeting, and now we'll be asking them to get their MP to sign a letter to Secretary of State.

Calls for a solution

Just before the meeting, we also got confirmation that the Special Minister of State Edward Timpson MP, who is directly responsible for care in schools, has agreed to meet with the Health Conditions in School Alliance to discuss our calls for a solution to poor care in schools

Thanks to everyone who's backed the campaign so far, as we couldn't have made this much progress without the public pressure. You can still helpby signing and sharing Louise's petitionas we push to reach 10,000 signatures.

Sign the petition 

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