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Chislehurst mum backs new Diabetes UK care in school helpline

PUBLISHED: 17:17 19 November 2014 | UPDATED: 17:18 19 November 2014

Picture: Getty Images/Aiden Franklin

Picture: Getty Images/Aiden Franklin

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It aims to help children get the support they need to make the most of their time at school.

The new helpline is being launched on November 24 as part of Diabetes UK’s Type 1 diabetes: Make the Grade campaign.

It will provide phone and email support to parents who are trying to get the care their child is entitled to at school.

Gina Tilley, who lives in Chislehurst and whose 15-year-old son Michael has Type 1 diabetes, is backing the new helpline.

She said: “Michael receives excellent care from his school and we feel very lucky and well-supported.

“However, I co-run a support group for families of children with Type 1 diabetes and I know that this isn’t the case in every school.

“I have heard of schools which don’t make the grade with regard to children’s care across south-east London.”

The helpline, which is supported by the charity’s National Charity Partnership with Tesco, follows a landmark new law, which means for the first time all schools in England are legally required to provide children with medical conditions such as Type 1 diabetes, asthma and epilepsy with the support they need at school.

Diabetes UK campaigned for this change in the law because while some schools were already doing a good job of supporting children with Type 1 diabetes there are too many examples of where children with the condition struggled to get the support that they need.

As part of Type 1 diabetes: Make the Grade, Diabetes UK has also produced free advice packs for schools to help them implement the new law. Free information packs are also available for parents, which outline what care they should expect in schools.

Sally Caldwell, Diabetes UK care in school helpline manager, said: “Our new helpline will ensure parents are supported in getting the help children with diabetes need during the school day.

“We know that while many schools offer fantastic support for children with Type 1 diabetes, some parents can really struggle to get the support that their child needs to make the most of their time at school.

“Our volunteers will be able to let parents know what support their children should be getting from their school, how they can make an official complaint and answers to important questions such as what should be in their child’s Individual Healthcare Plan.

“All our volunteers for the new helpline have been specially selected and fully trained and will have some experience of diabetes.

“They may be parents themselves of a child with diabetes or they may have Type 1 diabetes and understand the day-to-day practicalities of living with the condition.”

For more information visit www.diabetes.org.uk/schools

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