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Diabetes in schools – responsibilities of school nurses

We know how few of you there are and the pressures on your time. We also know that it’s quite likely that you are stretched over several schools and organising care and support for every child with a medical condition is next to impossible. However, working with the child’s paediatric diabetes specialist nurse (PDSN), we hope you will be able to make sure schools get the right support in place for children with diabetes in schools.


A school nurse’s main responsibility in supporting schools to look after children with medical conditions is making sure enough staff are competently trained to look after a child and that the child is being supported properly.

A child with Type 1 diabetes should have at least two members of staff fully trained to look after them. 


Every child with diabetes should have their own paediatric diabetes specialist nurse (PDSN). The PDSN will normally be responsible for identifying what support a child will need in school, helping put together theirIndividual Healthcare Plan(IHP), making sure training is in place and that staff have been signed off as competent to deliver care.

If the PDSN is unable to deliver this service then you will need to liaise with the child’s healthcare team and the school to make sure the right expertise and training are in place.

Schools should also make sure all relevant staff members are aware of the child’s diabetes and understand the condition and the child’s IHP. You may be asked to arrange diabetes awareness training for other members of school staff, and, depending on local arrangements, may play a part in training.

Schools should make sure staff know what to do in emergencies. If you do provide or organise any training you must make sure school staff are confident they know what to do if an emergency occurs and that they understand what an emergency is.

Other responsibilities

You should also help to make sure children with diabetes are getting the right support in school, something you will have to liaise with parents and the child’s PDSN over.

You should also have records of every child with diabetes in the schools you cover and have a copy of their most up-to-date IHP.

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