A new era for Diabetes in Schools

Diabetes Australia has been busy talking to hundreds of parents, teachers and health professionals to help shape the development of the new National Diabetes in Schools Program.

During October, we conducted more than 75 workshops in all major cities across the country, as well as teleconference meetings for people located in rural and remote areas.

In addition to the face-to-face workshops and meetings, we provided a National online survey for parents, teachers and clinicians and received more than 2000 responses. At least 1000 responses were from parents.

In mid-November, we held a National Forum in Canberra bringing together 50 key stakeholders from peak health and education groups, as well as principals, clinicians and parents to discuss in more detail some of challenges and opportunities for the Program.

Diabetes Australia is developing the Program in partnership with the Australian Diabetes Educators Association. The Program is also supported by JDRF Australia, the Australian Diabetes Society and the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group.

Diabetes Australia CEO Professor Greg Johnson said talking with parents of children with type 1 diabetes, as well health professionals and schools, about the best ways of managing diabetes at school is vital to the success of the Program.

“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel, we want to build on the good work that currently exists while understanding where the gaps are,” Professor Johnson said.

“It’s been very positive to see such a high level of engagement through the consultative workshops the past month. We are very thankful for all the parents, teachers, school staff and health professionals who took the time to have their say. The insights they have shared have been invaluable.”

“We are working through all the feedback and I’m confident we will develop a Program that gives parents peace of mind and teachers and school staff confidence to support students with diabetes.”

“Importantly, it will help kids with type 1 diabetes have a normal school experience and get on with learning and just being kids.”

This first phase of stakeholder consultation is expected to be completed by the end of this year. Diabetes Australia will provide an update to stakeholders in January 2019 and advise next steps in the development of this important Program.

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