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Diabetes in schools – responsibilities of SENCOs/ Additional Needs Coordinators/ Inclusion Managers

Some children with Type 1 diabetes will have a statement of special educational needs/Education, Health and Care plan in place in order to meet their needs. Every child’s experience of Type 1 diabetes is different and the level of support required depends on the individual child. If a child has a statement/EHC plan, their individual health care plan must link to that. The SENCO will need to input into the IHP, recognising how diabetes affects their learning.

If a child with diabetes does have SEN you should also read our responsibilities forteachersandtrained staff.

For more information on special educational needs see:

If you have been given the role of coordinating your school’s support of children with medical conditions you should read our responsibilities forheads and governorsso you can see what you will need to work with them on.

Individual healthcare plan

Every member of staff has a role in helping a school to look after children with medical conditions like diabetes, so it is important you and your team read and understand the IHP of children with diabetes and know what to do in an emergency.

A child’s IHP will include having procedures in place for catching up on work for when they miss lessons. You or your team may have a role in helping a child with diabetes catch up on work they have missed.

Find out more about Individual Healthcare Plans 


If you have been given the responsibility for inclusion you must make sure children with diabetes are not excluded from any part of school life. This means checking they are not being sent home unnecessarily; they can take part in PE and all other lessons; are allowed to go on day trips and residential trips; and are able to take part in any extra-curricular activities.

Only allowing a child to take part in a trip or another activity if their parent or carer accompanies them is unacceptable.

Medical conditions policy

Heads, governors and responsible bodies should check their medical conditions policy is properly supporting children with diabetes and other medical conditions. It is likely you will play a part in this review, particularly if a child with diabetes has been struggling academically.

Download a sample medical condirions policy 

Storing and administering medicine

If you are responsible for storing medicine, like spare insulin, you must make sure it is easily accessible and trained members of staff and the child know where it is kept. It should also be documented in the child’s IHP.

Any prescribed medicine, like insulin, that is given to a child should be recorded. How this is done and who does it should be included in the IHP.

Only trained members of staff who have been signed off as competent by a qualified healthcare professional should ever administer insulin. The trained members of staff should be named in the child's IHP.

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