Supporting a student with type 1 diabetes
Schools have a responsibility to provide a supportive environment for all students with a medical condition including students with type 1 diabetes.
School staff may be required to provide additional support to help students manage their type 1 diabetes and participate in school life like their peers. These supportive actions are called reasonable adjustments.
Schools and school staff might be required to support a student in a range of ways including:
- working with parent and carers to establish communication processes regarding a student’s day-to-day type 1 diabetes care (for example via a diary, phone calls or regular meetings);
- following a Student’s Diabetes Management and Action Plan in relation to treating low and high glucose levels;
- providing a student with access to a blood glucose monitor, insulin and hypo treatment foods;
- ensuring a student has access to water (for drinking or to wash hands);
- allowing a student to eat at additional times in class or during physical activity.Allowing extra bathroom access;
- making special considerations during exams and tests;
- providing some necessary supervision (e.g. insulin administration, blood glucose levels and pump management) if required;
- providing consideration for privacy when checking blood glucose levels and/or injecting insulin, if requested.
Young students may require support and guidance in managing their type 1 diabetes needs.
A student’s diabetes management plan is an essential document that that will guide how schools can support students to learn and participate fully in their school experience. The diabetes management plan will usually be developed by the student’s diabetes treating team in collaboration with the student and family.
School training and support
Diabetes in Schools is an information and training program designed to support schools and school staff to help students to manage their type 1 diabetes while at school.
The program provides 3 levels of training for schools:
- Level 1 Introductory training is designed for all school staff and provides basic information about supporting students 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 designed for designated school staff who volunteer to be directly involved in supporting students with type 1 diabetes. 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 is 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 healthcare professional (where possible this will be a member of the student’s diabetes treating team). This will be available in some states from March 2020 and will be prioritised for schools with students who are newly diagnosed or who are unable to self administer insulin.