Sheffield mum meets with Angela about poor support in school for children with medical conditions
A Sheffield mum has met with local MP Angela Smith to ask for her help in improving support in schools for children and young people with long-term medical conditions, such as Type 1 diabetes, asthma and epilepsy.
Jody Jezusek, along with her 6-year-old daughter, Amelie, who has Type 1 diabetes, travelled to Westminster to meet Angela Smith MP, as part of a special event held in Parliament with over 100 children and parents calling for improved support in schools for children with medical conditions. The event was organised by the Health Conditions in School Alliance, a coalition of more than 30 organisations, including Diabetes UK.
The Alliance says that children with medical conditions are being put at risk because many schools don’t know how to include them safely in all aspects of school life. Research revealed that nine in ten schools in England are not able to show they have policies in place to support any child with long-term medical conditions. This is despite the introduction of a law in England three years ago that means all schools now have a legal duty to have policies in place to aid teachers and other school staff to care for any child with serious medical conditions.
As part of its Safe in School campaign, the Alliance is calling on the Minister for Children and Families to take action now to ensure all schools in England, including in Sheffield, know that they are legally required to have medical conditions policies, and to publish these policies on their websites. And to make sure that these policies are actually being followed, the Alliance is also calling on the Minister to ask school regulator Ofsted to look at these policies, and their implementation, during inspections.
Jody and Amelie have backed the Alliance’s Safe in School campaign and have directly appealed to Angela Smith MP to convince Ministers that things need to change now.
Jody Jezusek said: “Amelie gets fantastic care in her present school, but I know this isn’t the case for every child with a medical condition. This is why I was really pleased to meet with Angela Smith MP, and raise my concerns about the lack of understanding from some schools regarding their legal duty to support all children with a medical condition.
“It’s not right that parents are having to constantly fight to ensure their children have the same basic rights as their peers. All children have the right to feel safe at school and the opportunity to thrive in and out of the classroom, regardless of whether they have a long-term condition or not.
“I welcome the support of Angela Smith MP and her help in making the case to Ministers that they must take action so that all children get the support and care they need to stay safe and fully participate in school life.”
Angela Smith MP said:
“It was great to meet Jody and Amelie and hear their story. It’s unacceptable that children with medical conditions might not be getting t he care they are entitled to at school. Not only can this have a detrimental impact on their academic performance, and ability to have a rich and rewarding school life, it can also mean their safety is put at risk. The impact on parents can be huge too, with some parents having to give up their jobs”.
“ All children deserve the very best support in school and that is why I will be making the case to Ministers that action is urgently needed and the law followed.”
To find out more about the Health Conditions in School Alliance go to http://medicalconditionsatschool.org.uk /