Diabetes Australia today acknowledged that parents and carers of
11,000 Australian children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes are
likely to face more challenges than most as they begin the new
"There are more than 1000 school age children who have been
diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the past year, and for these
students and their families, as well as those already living with
type 1 diabetes, starting a new school or having new teachers can
be overwhelming and challenging," Diabetes Australia CEO Professor
Greg Johnson said.
"It is critical that principals and school staff are equipped to
support students with type 1 diabetes and that these children don't
experience discrimination or adverse impacts as a result of their
condition," said Professor Johnson.
"It's important that parents feel they
can work together with schools, health care providers and support
organisations to ensure their children have a diabetes management
plan that works for everyone."
Late last year, Diabetes Australia conducted nationwide
consultation with more than 1000 families, 700 school staff, more
than 320 health professionals, as well as peak health and education
organisations and state and territory government departments to
better understand how to make the day-to-day experience of children
with type 1 diabetes attending schools more manageable and less
Some of the key findings of the consultation included:
- confusion and inconsistency from state to state about the roles
and responsibilities of parents, schools and treating clinical
teams in treating children with type 1 diabetes;
- inconsistency in education and training programs available to
support schools with students with type 1 diabetes;
- parents often bear the responsibility of day to day diabetes
management support of children with type 1 diabetes at the school
meaning they are unable to work or endure ongoing stress;
- individualised diabetes management plans for children with type
1 diabetes are often outdated or inaccurate;
- training gaps for schools with students with type 1 diabetes,
particularly in relation to new technologies such as Continuous
Glucose Monitors which were recently subsidised by the Australian
Government and are now used by thousands of children with type 1
- the absence of an accurate or comprehensive data source on the
schools that children with type 1 diabetes attend, or the schools
that have received training and education about insulin
administration and type 1 diabetes.
With the support of the Australian Government and in
collaboration with the Australian Diabetes Educators Association,
JDRF Australia, Australian Diabetes Society, and the Australasian
Paediatric Endocrine Group, Diabetes Australia is currently
developing a new national Diabetes in Schools Program to be
implemented by mid-2019.
Diabetes Australia will work with parents and families,
principals and schools, and key health and education experts to
design the new Diabetes in Schools program that will include a new
national, three-tiered type 1 diabetes training and education
program that will ensure principals and school staff have the
skills necessary to support children at school.
The program will be delivered later in 2019. In the meantime,
any parents who are feeling anxious about how their child's
diabetes will be managed while at school should call the
NDSS Helpline on 1300 136 588.
Useful information and a range of resources to help parents and
children manage diabetes at school can be found at Diabetes
Queensland's Diabetes Basics website.