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Your responsibilities as a SENCO or additional needs coordinator

Looking after a child with diabetes isn't just the responsibility of one person. But everyone involved in looking after a child with diabetes as a slightly different role and responsibilities in a child’s care.

Some children with Type 1 diabetes will statement of special educational needs or have an education, health and care plan that meets their needs.

Everyone’s experience of Type 1 diabetes is different, and the level of support they might need will depend on the child. If a child has a statement or education, then their individual healthcare plan must link to it, and the SENCO will need to input into their IHP, so it recognises how diabetes affects their learning.

If a child with diabetes does have special educational needs, sometimes known as SEN, you should also read our responsibilities for teachers and trained staff.

For more information on special educational needs, visit the Council for Disabled Children.

If you have been given the role of coordinating your school’s support of children with medical conditions you should read our responsibilities for heads and governors so 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 any work they have missed.


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, that they take part in PE and all other lessons, allowed to go on school trips and can 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 isn’t acceptable.

Medical conditions policy

Headteachers, 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.

Storing and administering medicine

If you are responsible for storing medicine, like 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 administer insulin. The trained members of staff should be named in the child's IHP.

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