The Diabetes in Schools program provides nationally consistent information and training for parents and families, principals and school staff and health professionals to ensure students with type 1 diabetes are supported to manage their condition while at school.
Families, schools and health professionals are encouraged to work together to support students to manage their type 1 diabetes at school so they have the chance to learn, achieve and be the best they can be.
The educational resources can be accessed online making it easy for families, schools and health professionals to work together to support students.
Diabetes Australia is the national body for people affected by all types of diabetes and those at risk. Diabetes Australia works in partnership with diabetes health professionals and educators, researchers and healthcare providers to minimise the impact of diabetes on the Australian community.
Managing type 1 diabetes is a 24/7 job. It impacts everything a child does from what they eat, to the sport they play, to sleep overs and even play time. It can place families under significant stress as they do everything they can to keep their child safe and healthy – especially when they go to school. It can also be challenging for principals, teachers and school staff to know how they can best support a student with type 1 diabetes and their family.
The Diabetes in Schools program was developed to provide nationally consistent information and training for parents and families, principals and school staff and health professionals to ensure students with type 1 diabetes are supported to manage their condition while at school.
The program includes new information and tools to better support parents and families and school principals; as well as a targeted, nationally consistent three level training and support program for teachers and school staff about the management of children with type 1 diabetes in schools.
The program provides three levels of training for school staff.
- Level 1 Introductory training – is designed for all school staff and provides basic information about supporting students living with type 1 diabetes while at school. The training includes three short online modules. It’s recommended all staff undertake level 1 training.
- Level 2 Intermediate training – is available for staff who volunteer to be directly involved in supporting students with type 1 diabetes. Staff also need to be designated by a principal. Training is available via nine online modules (for all schools) or via group education workshops (in some States). Training covers type 1 diabetes and food, monitoring glucose levels, insulin, managing lows and highs, physical activity, school camps and planning for changes. Training is general and is not specific to the needs of individual students.
- Level 3 Individualised skills training – designed for designated school staff and focuses on the individual student’s type 1 diabetes management. This practical face-to-face training is delivered in the school by a qualified health professional (where possible this will be a member of this student’s diabetes treating team). This service will begin in some states from March 2020 and will be prioritised for schools with students who are newly diagnosed and who are unable to self-administer insulin.
The Diabetes in Schools program was developed by Diabetes Australia. It is the result of extensive stakeholder consultation with parents, teachers, school staff, principals and health professionals and is supported by Australia’s leading diabetes groups including the Australian Diabetes Educators Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group and the Australian Diabetes Society.
The program is funded by the Australian Government through the National Diabetes Service Scheme (NDSS).
There are currently various diabetes in schools activities around the various States and Territories, but no nationally consistent approach to support children with type 1 diabetes whilst they are at school. In particular, there is a lack of individualised support for students/schools provided by the usual diabetes care team (often hospital based).
There has been strong advocacy support for this new national program from parents and families, schools and staff, and health professionals all around Australia.
The Diabetes in Schools Program offers a multi-level training and support program that has been specifically designed for schools and staff. It is the first program that includes comprehensive face-to-face training to support students with the administration of insulin. This will be progressively rolled out across Australia from March 2020.
The Diabetes 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.
The program is supported by Australia’s leading diabetes groups including the Australian Diabetes Educators Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group and the Australian Diabetes Society.
The program is “opt in”, free to families, students and schools and has been developed following extensive stakeholder consultation over many months with principals, teachers, school staff, school nurses, diabetes clinicians, and parents and students.
Consultation revealed schools wanted clarity around “best practice” type 1 diabetes management in a school context through access to a nationally consistent, credible information and training program, including access to face-to-face training provided by qualified healthcare professionals in the school environment.
Parents and carers, school staff, principals, health professionals and students can access the Diabetes in Schools program via the website. The website provides registration links and contact information to allow interested schools to register and participate in training.
Parents and health professionals can also tell the school about the program by filling in an online form: https://www.diabetesinschools.com.au/#form
A new web portal hosts the online training videos and learning materials, as well as additional information, resources and tools to support principals, school staff and parents better manage diabetes in a school context. This will be launched in mid Feb 2020 and we will commence a broader communication and engagement process with the education and health sectors in the following weeks and months.
Face-to-face practical training provided by qualified healthcare professionals (Level 3 training) will begin in some states in early March 2020.
Parents or carers should work closely with the principal of their child’s school to determine how the school will support the student to effectively management their diabetes.
The principal will be able to identify staff who agree to undertake the Diabetes in Schools training to support students with type 1 diabetes.
To get started, parents and carers can visit the Diabetes in Schools website and fill out the Tell a School form: https://www.diabetesinschools.com.au/#form
Schools who are interested in participating in ‘Level 3’ Individualised Skills Training will need to be registered with the program and request the training via the school principal. Where possible staff will need to complete Level 1 and Level 2 training prior to undertaking Level 3.
Principal’s can register staff for the first two levels of training.
Level 3 will be delivered face-to-face by health professionals (where appropriate the clinical treating team) and will be rolled out nationally in some states from March 2020.
You can Tell your school about the program by submitting form via the wesbite:https://www.diabetesinschools.com.au/#form
Schools can register for training directly here: https://www.diabetesinschools.com.au/training-and-support/
Further information and support can be found by contacting the NDSS hotline: 1300 136 588. For more information regarding the program, please choose from the selected menu for ‘Diabetes In School’.