Parents and families of 11,000 Australian children with type 1 diabetes are being urged to register their interest in the new Diabetes in Schools program set to commence in early 2020.
On World Diabetes Day, 14 November, Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson announced that Diabetes Australia would begin contacting all families and promoting the program to parents, schools and health professionals.
“This year’s theme for World Diabetes Day is ‘My diabetes, my family’ and there is no doubt managing diabetes at schools can be a strain for many families,” Professor Johnson said.
“In the past year more than 1000 school age children have been newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and for these students and their families, as well as those who have lived with type 1 diabetes for longer, going to school can be overwhelming and challenging.
“Other important times and when students with type 1 diabetes are changing schools, going from primary to secondary school, and of course students and schools in rural and remote areas can face particular challenges.
“It is critical that principals and school staff are well equipped to support students with type 1 diabetes and that these children don’t experience stigma, discrimination or adverse impacts as a result of their diabetes.
“This is why we have developed the new Diabetes in Schools program, funded by the Australian Government through the National Diabetes Service Scheme, to provide an integrated package of information, training and support for parents and families, schools and staff, and health professional to better support students with type 1 diabetes.
“From early 2020, a new web portal will be available for parents, principals, school staff and health professionals. The portal will provide access to a range of tools, resources, information and support to help schools better understand how to support students with type 1 diabetes while at school.
“It will also include a detailed online training program for schools and their staff. Face-to-face practical training provided by qualified healthcare professionals, will also begin during 2020.
“The face-to-face school training will be individualised for the student and will cover all key aspects of support including glucose monitoring, insulin administration and glucagon administration. This training will be targeted at schools that have students who are newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and require support to administer insulin.
“From today we’ll be writing to parents to invite them to register their interest in the Diabetes in Schools program – this will also help ensure families receive all the latest information about the program, including resources, as it becomes available.
“Prof Johnson acknowledged the support of all the leading diabetes organisations in Australia including Australian Diabetes Educators Association, Australian Paediatric Endocrine Group and Australian Diabetes Society, and JDRF Australia who have all partnered together in developing this new program.
Diabetes Australia acknowledged the Australian Government funding for this program through the National Diabetes Services Scheme.