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Supporting children and students with diabetes

This page outlines how education staff, care services, parents, guardians, and health professionals work together to manage a child or student with diabetes in education and care settings.

About diabetes

Diabetes is a serious condition which can affect the entire body. It can be type 1 or type 2, each with its own particular characteristics. 

Find out more about diabetes including:

  • differences between type 1 and 2
  • symptoms
  • managing diabetes.

Health support plans and agreements

If the child or student has diabetes, the education or care service should refer to health support planning for children and students in education and care settings to ensure that the appropriate plans and agreements are in place. This is in addition to the diabetes-specific plans and agreements listed on this page. 

Plans and agreements for type 1 diabetes

All children and students with type 1 diabetes must have a diabetes action and management plan, and an insulin medication agreement – HSP331 (DOC 165KB).

The relevant action and management plan must be completed by a health professional in consultation with the child or student’s parents or guardians.

Primary and secondary school settings:

Early childhood (EC) settings:

The medtronic 670G hybrid closed loop insulin pump (PDF 463KB) should be used with the child or student’s management and action plan. 

Emergency care and first aid procedures

An individual first aid plan – HSP124 (DOC 167KB) should be completed by a health professional where the first aid response is NOT the standard first aid response for diabetes.

The child or student’s diabetes action and management plan provides first aid instructions in the event of low blood sugar hypoglycaemia (hypo) and high blood sugar hyperglycaemia (hyper). 

All education and care staff must provide first aid measures following any care plan or support agreement, and contact emergency services if needed.

Training for education and care staff 

Staff must be appropriately trained to support children to administer or aid in the administration of insulin. Training and support must be individualised as outlined in the diabetes action and management plans for each child.

Diabetes at school offers 3 short online learning modules to support staff to understand:

  • type 1 diabetes and how it impacts day to day life
  • how to respond appropriately to hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia
  • diabetes management and action plans. 

Diabetes SA provide education sessions for education and care services to:

  • facilitate the day to day school experience of children with type 1 diabetes 
  • identify the signs and symptoms, and to manage hyperglycaemia and hypoglycaemia incidents. 

Nadine Harrison provides diabetes education at education and care services. For enquiries phone 0422 250 635 or email targetdiabetes [at] yahoo.com.au.

The National Diabetes Services Scheme’s mastering diabetes in preschools and schools help teachers and families to:

  • support children with type 1 diabetes in education and care services
  • build strong communication between families and schools.

The Royal District Nursing Service provides diabetes awareness and emergency medications for seizures education. For training enquiries phone 1300 364 264 or email bookings.disabilities [at] rdns.org.au.

How parents and caregivers can help

Parents or guardians must:

  • notify the school, preschool or care service if their child has diabetes
  • complete health care plans and agreements with their health care professionals and provide them to the school, preschool or care service
  • provide required medication to the school, preschool or care service.

If a medication agreement is in place, parents and caregivers must fulfil the roles and responsibilities outlined on the medication management and care page.

How health professionals can help

Health professionals support schools, preschools, care services and families by helping to develop the care plan and any supporting medication and care agreements.

Disability and Complex Needs Team

Phone: 8226 0515
Email: education.health [at] sa.gov.au