It is fantastic news that schools in England are now legally required to support children with medical conditions such as asthma, cancer, type one diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, stroke, coeliac disease and anaphylaxis.
Thanks to the statutory guidance issued by the government, which will come into effect from September 2014, there is now a historic opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of more than one million children with medical conditions who can often struggle to get the extra support they need in school as a result of their conditions.
This is because under the current system it is left to individual schools to provide the support children with medical conditions need.
This means that while some schools provide fantastic support, many children with medical conditions don’t get the care they need and are effectively excluded from fully participating in their education.
Some children are even forced to move schools or be home schooled due to their parents’ concerns about their safety, while in other cases parents are unable to work as they have to go into school to administer medication, which can create huge financial and emotional strain.
Now the job begins of making sure this change in the law and new statutory guidance translates into action over the next few months and becomes a reality for all children with medical conditions and their families.
By working together with schools, parents and local authorities we can all help make sure that children with medical conditions get the support they deserve in school, as it is every child’s right to reach their full potential.
Chief executive of Diabetes UK.