I am going to start by saying that I realise that I am extremely lucky to have the fantastic support that I have from the head and other members of staff at my childrens primary school. Anything that I have asked them to do regarding Samuels diabetes they have done, no questions asked. For example, when Samuel went onto four injections a day so needed one at lunchtime the head offered to do as did the head mid day assistant. The diabetic nurses went in, along with me and gave them the relevant training. They now have six members of staff trained.
But........ What would I have done if he had said no, or there were no volunteers? What if nobody wanted to take responsibility for checking his blood sugar levels?
Statistics from Diabetes UK show that almost half of parents with diabetic children in primary school have to dramatically reduce their working hours, or quit their jobs altogether to go into school to check levels or to administer insulin because the school won't do it!! I didn't realise that schools could refuse. I took it as given that they would just do it. However, the more I am in contact with other families the more I realise just how lucky we are, because our school is the exception, not the rule.
There are some primary schools which are failing our young children and that is just not acceptable. Our children have a condition, it is not their fault, and as parents we expect our children to be treated the same as their peers whilst within the school environment.
Our diabetic children have the same dreams and aspersions as other children of the same age, and they should be nurtured, no exceptions. They can go on school trips, and yes that does mean the residential ones, it just needs more forward planning. They can do PE, they can charge around the playground.
Children spend a huge amount of time at school and this time should be fun, it should be interesting, and our children should be excited by their learning. Just because they are diabetic they shouldn't be restricted or held back, the schools should have a 'can do' attitude not 'can't do.'
Westwood Primary School have a 'can do' attitude, they go above and beyond what is expected of them, and they have exceeded my expectations. They do this because every child matters, EVERY child.......even those with long term medical conditions.