A new resource for schools to help their students with diabetes is being launched today by Minister for Health Sussan Ley.

Mastering Diabetes provides user-friendly information to teachers and parents about type 1 diabetes so that affected children can be better supported at school, helping to maximise their education and learning.

“The resource kit provides information about diabetes and how to manage it in a school setting,
with an aim of developing a trust and understanding between families and staff to support and care for affected children,” Ms Ley said.

“It teaches the community how to talk about diabetes, tackles myths, and aims to reduce the impact of the condition on a child’s educational opportunities.

“It is vitally important that everyone is properly informed about diabetes, and that teachers and other carers can help children be better understood, navigate and succeed at school by giving them
a voice in managing their condition.”

“Part of the National Diabetes Strategy launched by the Government in November 2015, Mastering Diabetes is an innovative targeted resource to promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle, while increasing community understanding of diabetes to improve overall health and wellbeing”, Ms Ley said.

The pack has been developed after feedback from parents for more support for children with type 1 diabetes in the educational setting and an identified gap in information for teachers and other school staff.

Developed by Diabetes Australia and funded through the Government’s National Diabetes Services Scheme, the information kit will be sent throughout Term 2 to all Australian families who have a child with Type 1 diabetes, to share with their school, teachers or carers


Background – Further information

The incidence of diabetes is estimated to have more than doubled in the Australian community since 1990. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that largely affects young people, while type 2 diabetes – which represents around 85-90 per cent of cases – is typically later onset and often associated with unhealthy lifestyle factors. Together they affect more than 1 million Australians over the age of two years. It is one of the priority areas of the Government’s chronic care health reforms.

The pack for teachers and other school staff includes the following information:
• General diabetes information – what is diabetes, how it is managed, how to recognise hypo and hyperglycaemia and how to deal with them, and myths surrounding diabetes;
• Managing diabetes at school, on school trips and during exams;
• Responsibilities of teaching and other school staff; and
• Communicating with parents about their child’s diabetes.
The pack for parents includes:
• Working with schools to help their child receive the support they need to minimise the impact of their diabetes on their experiences, development and learning;
• What health care parents can expect to receive in preschools and schools;
• Developing successful communication strategies, including how to talk about diabetes with teaching staff; and
• Dealing with myths surrounding diabetes.