Each year Australian children will spend approximately 30% of their time at school. This equates annually to 200 days or 1,200 hours 1
Therefore, it is essential that diabetes is as well managed at school as it is at home. Poor metabolic control has been associated with lower academic and sporting performance 2. Children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) often need assistance performing diabetes self-management tasks at school.
Issues at school include lack of diabetes knowledge by staff, fear of hypoglycaemia, school excursions and sports days. In addition, parents and school staff found traditional generic management plans not always easy to follow, were not consistent with advice given by the child’s usual diabetes team and not designed for children using intensive insulin therapy (IIT).
Our aim was to devise a school management plan for children using IIT, that would meet the needs of the school whilst giving simple, clear information that was consistent with management advice from the child’s usual treating diabetes team.
Two management plans were devised for children using insulin pump therapy (IPT) and multiple daily injections (MDI). Input from local teaching staff was sought in devising the plans. The plans were implemented into schools attended by patients of our clinic. Six months later school staff were invited to complete a survey to give feedback. The questions related to the plan format, content and usefulness.
10 local schools were surveyed. The responses were overwhelmingly positive with over 80% of teaching staff feeling more confident in their diabetes knowledge. Feedback from teaching staff was considered and plans revised to reflect this.
The plans are successfully being used in local schools. Funding has been secured to ensure plans are available to all schools and centres wishing to use them. The plans are simple and could easily be modified to suit individual needs.