A new national
schools program is set to ease the strain of type 1 diabetes on
families by helping to ensure that principals, teachers and school
staff have the support, training and tools they need to support
students with type 1 diabetes at school.
survey found that one in every four parents of a student with type
1 diabetes have to attend the school at least once a week to
administer insulin for their child," Diabetes Australia CEO
Professor Greg Johnson said.
around 11,000 school students with type 1 diabetes
across Australia so this is an enormous burden. Every one of these
students may need insulin injections or other important diabetes
management support during school.
Diabetes in Schools program, funded by the Australian Government
and part of the National Diabetes Services Scheme, signals a new
era in school support for kids with type 1 diabetes and their
"It will provide an integrated
package of information, training and support for parents and
families, schools and staff, and health professionals to better
support students with type 1 diabetes.
consulted extensively with school principals, teachers and the
education sector who clearly indicated they wanted more support,
training and tools to help them support students with type 1
survey of parents revealed the serious issues and impacts of
type 1 diabetes on the school experience of these children:
- 25% of parents have to visit school at least once a week to
- 65% of children with diabetes had a low or high blood glucose
episode at school that required the parent to attend the
- 71% of children were unable to attend school because of a
- 53% of parents believed diabetes had impacted on their child's
ability to fully participate in school activities
- 10% of the children visited the doctor or emergency department
because of a severe diabetes episode at school
- Students with diabetes missed an average of more than two weeks
of school a year as a result of type 1 diabetes
- 49% of parents believe school staff would benefit from more
education and training to support children with type 1
Johnson said the results painted a clear picture of why the
Diabetes in Schools program was needed.
teachers and school staff do a great job - but it is clear that
more training and support is needed," he said.
Diabetes in Schools program and support
in Schools online resources
Diabetes in Schools program will provide nationally consistent
support and training at three levels.
"Level 1 is
basic introductory information about type 1 diabetes that all
school staff should have. This will be available through a new web
portal that provides access to a range of tools, resources,
information and support to help school staff to better understand
how to support students with type 1 diabetes at school.
support and training is available for school staff who are directly
involved in supporting students with type 1 diabetes. This can be
access through online modules (for all schools) or group education
workshops (in some States). Training covers type 1 diabetes and
food, monitoring glucose levels, insulin and other key issues.
support offers face-to-face training at the school which is
individualised for a particular student and provided, where
possible, by a health professional from the student's diabetes
treating team (often a hospital).
"It will cover
all key aspects of support for that student including glucose
monitoring, insulin administration and glucagon administration.
This training will be prioritised to schools with students who are
newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes or require support to
services will be delivered by some of Australia's leading
paediatric diabetes centers and will roll out progressively across
Australia commencing from March 2020."
Johnson thanked the Health Minister, Hon Greg Hunt MP for
supporting and funding the new national program.
"This is a key
issue in ensuring the short- and long-term health of children with
type 1 diabetes and we'd like to thank the Australian Government
and Health Minister Greg Hunt for funding this vital initiative,"
in Schools program is built on extensive consultation with
principals, teachers, parents and health professionals and provides
a range of tools, resources, information, training and support to
help schools support students with type 1 diabetes.
Diabetes in Schools website for more information: diabetesinschools.com.au