Health professionals provide students, families and schools with the advice they need
Health professionals play an integral part in helping a student and their parents/carers find their ‘new normal’ and navigate the challenges that a type 1 diabetes diagnosis brings – including planning and managing a return to school. This can be an especially daunting time, not only for students and families, but for the school staff tasked with supporting them.
Tell a school about the program
The Diabetes in Schools program aims to provide access to nationally-consistent information and training for school staff. It includes three levels of training.
- Level 1 (introductory): Recommended for all school staff, providing a basic overview of type 1 diabetes.
- Level 2 (intermediate): For staff who supervise a student with type 1 diabetes, covering food, monitoring glucose levels, insulin, managing lows and highs, physical activity, school camps and planning for change.
- Level 3 (individualised skills training): Practical face-to-face training for school staff which focuses on the individual’s student’s diabetes management plan. Level 3 training will be available in some states from March.
Role of health professionals
A student's diabetes treating team play a significant role in developing a student's management plan. The preparation of the diabetes management plan is necessary for a student returning to school. It provides the foundation for guiding and supporting diabetes care while at school - forging a collaborative, cooperative association between the family, health professionals (diabetes treating team) and the school.
The Diabetes in Schools program was developed to deliver a nationally consistent training, tools and resources to enhance the support and training health professionals already provide in varying degrees to schools. Its aim is to ensure that school is a safe, supported environment for students with type 1 diabetes; and build confidence not only for parents and carers, but for school communities involved in caring for the student. It provides three levels of training:
- basic online training for all staff providing general information to raise awareness of diabetes at school;
- more detailed online modules or face-to-face workshops for school staff with regular contact;
- skills training to support specific diabetes related care at school.
Health professionals can access information, tools and guides to help support a child with type 1 diabetes, their families and support persons.
The care of young people with diabetes requires a team of specialised health professionals to help support and educate families and young people in diabetes management. The diabetes treating team recommends and oversees a young person’s clinical care and medical treatment.
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A student’s diabetes management plan developed by the diabetes treating team is used by the school to help develop and put in place other plans and processes, which aim to effectively manage the student’s type 1 diabetes, and other health conditions, where relevant, during school hours.
It is essential that the young person’s diabetes management plan remains current so that it can be accurately used by the school. This allows the school to support the student as their diabetes needs change in line with changes to clinical management. It also allows the school to decide when staff training is needed and what that training will be, when implementing and updating the plan in the school environment.
Schools may face challenges in understanding and interpreting diabetes management plans. It may cause difficulties for schools to understand the plan if the format of the plans differ for different children, or if the plan is not sufficiently detailed to give the school direction on how to apply the detail within the plan in the school setting. Additionally, where alterations to the plan are made by hand, this may make it difficult for schools to implement the plan correctly.
Members of the diabetes treating team should also be aware that some schools will be experiencing the diabetes management process for the first time. It is important for schools to know that there is free training available through the Diabetes in Schools program. >> Refer a school
Reasonable adjustments are the supports and actions that the school and parents agree that the school will make to ensure that students with diabetes can best manage their condition and don’t miss out on school opportunities.
This includes practical day-to-day measures that the school’s designated staff will oversee. It may be as simple as allowing a student to eat during class time or, more complex, such as supervising or administering insulin. >> Read More
Find out how families and schools can be supported to navigate the challenges that a student with type 1 diabetes might face at school.
Families, schools and health professionals can access a range of resources, tools and guides to help them support a student with type 1 diabetes while at school.