Diabetes and Lewisham schools

Pete writes:

A friend of ours has a six year old child with Type 1 diabetes which is perfectly manageable with the proper care. They're really struggling to get the school to be flexible to his needs (as he is only six he needs help with checking his blood sugar levels etc) and I was wondering if there were any other families who read your blog that may have diabetic children in schools in the borough who might have some advice?

This family really could do with some help and advice as at the moment their son is out of school and that's not something that they want to prolong, but they don't want to risk him becoming seriously ill whilst he is at the school.


Pete said...

Thanks so much for posting this up Nick.

If anyone has a child with diabetes and has successfully got their school to help out and would be prepared to offer our friends some advice I would really appreciate it.

Jayesh said...


My boyfriend is a type 1 diabetic, too. He is 20 and has had it for 8 years now. He didn't grow up in the UK, but is in contact with diabetes associations and would be really happy to help out and provide any resources (e.g. info leaflets for schools and school nurses) or put in contact with the associations themselves.
Also, if the child needs any help with learning how to cope with diabetes in a more autonomous way, he'd be more than happy to help (it might be nice for him to have another young person around when learning about diabetes).

Contact us for any help you might need,
Elena and Jayesh

Saarf London Bird said...

Good luck - I had a similar issue when my daughter started primary school as she is a coeliac (gluten intolerance). I was very keen for her to have school dinners. However, whilst the school can cope with vegetarian, halal, peanut allergies etc it seems that provision of a hot meal without gluten was beyond them. Frustrating.

I appreciate this is very different but I would hope the school, nay the local education authority has processes in place to accommodate medical issues. Would suggest (if not already done so) escalating to Lewisham Education & also contacting Diabetes UK.

Anonymous said...



Jessie said...

Has the school nurse been involved? He should have a care plan done by the school nurses - they would also be able to offer training for the staff in school for blood sugar monitoring.

It is discrimination for the school to not offer him the care he needs.

Do get in touch with Diabetes UK, and also this organisation may be able to offer some support: http://www.ace-ed.org.uk/

daniel said...

this sounds outrageous

Anonymous said...

I did some voluntary work with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund, this is the sort of thing that they deal with all the time. Well worth checking their website:-


Anonymous said...

I work in a school. We tend to cater for peanut allergies etc. over gluten free as the gluten side of things suffers from a lot of self-diagnosis, if you know what I mean. Pushy parents saying their kids are intolerant of something (dairy is another) when they've not really been diagnosed as such. Similar happens when you start making allowances for autism... diagnoses come out of the woodwork thick and fast and people take leave of their senses.

JEM said...

Anon @22.42, while non diagnosed conditions may well be an issue for school staff - a diagnosis of diabetes is incontrovertible.

Anonymous said...

... the medieval side of Lewisham

Pete said...

Thanks to everyone who has posted on here for their advice. I'll pass it all on to the parents and they can take it forward hopefully.

The children with diabetes link was particularly useful so thankyou to the anonymous poster for that. It sounds like it schools nationwide and their staff that are failing diabetic children and not just those in Lewisham. Very, very depressing when you consider the facts that managing this disease is not that difficult for an adult and not managing it can cause serious health problems.

Hopefully the school will see sense.

Anonymous said...

Maybe your post will raise awareness in lewisham schools. The issue with peanut allergies has only been highlighted in recent years, no doubt due to some dramatic but preventable events.

As the numbers of children with diabetes in the UK is rising then surely awareness will increase and hopefully without a child suffering. Although I have heard of implants to release insulin for older children so there are advances in the treatment.

I saw an article today recommending that parents send their sick children in to school, so they can be sent home on the schools judgement. It's about attendance figures and sadly also undermines parents.

Anonymous said...

This should help, I would encourage this family to attend this meeting.

Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham

Parent Support Group Meeting

Tuesday 24 April, 5pm - 6.30pm at Hercules House, Hercules Road,
London, SE1 7DU

Are you a parent or carer for children living with diabetes?

If you want to work with other parents and carers to improve diabetes care for children and young people why not attend the first meeting for your local parent support group.

This meeting will be an opportunity for you to:

o Talk to other parent support groups and find out what works

o Shape your Parent Support Group action plan for 2012

o Meet other parents

“Being able to talk to other parents would provide support above and beyond what the clinical team could offer, particularly if your child is newly diagnosed. Parents could provide practical advice and support” - Parent of child living with diabetes.

If you would like to attend the meeting please phone:

Sabeena Subba on 0207 188 2854, or email Sabeena.Subba@gstt.nhs.uk

Please let us know if you would like childcare support on the day

Pete said...

Thanks for the information in the last post. What amazingly good timing!

Saarf London Bird said...

Just caught up on reading - to Anon 16/04 22:42. Suggest you report back to the school that some parents have a degree of intelligence, go through 3 months of terrifying worry and hospital visits, including a full invasive biopsy procedure on an 18 month old child to ensure that it's not just a "pushy parent". It's called coeliacs disease you small minded idiot.

I hope to god you don't work in my childs school if you are influencing children with that mentality.

L said...

wondered if the family managed to get to the meeting?

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