At school: for teachers

The level of support needed for individual young people with diabetes will depend on their age, development and experience with their condition. In order to deal effectively with children and young people in a classroom setting, you need to understand what diabetes is and how it should be managed.

Download our School training manual to view our top tips for managing diabetes in school. 

Young type 1 patient (Trinity) on a swing

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition, usually evident from childhood, in which individuals cannot produce their own insulin and need insulin injections to substitute for this. This is the diabetes type that young people typically will have in your classroom.

Learn about type 1 diabetes

What am I responsible for?

You may be a trained member of staff or you may be an untrained class or subject teacher. Whatever your position, you have a duty of care towards every child in your class.

Remember that children can experience negative attitudes from their peer group – do your best to educate them about diabetes in a way that encourages a supportive and positive attitude.

Type 1 diabetes is not contagious and is not the result of a poor lifestyle, and it helps to talk to other children in the class to reassure them that this is the case and also to explain to them why their classmate sometimes needs support or a different approach, e.g. being allowed to snack in class when experiencing a hypo.

First, talk to the parent and child to understand their daily treatment needs. Talk to senior management to understand school responsibilities and consider undergoing formal training in order to qualify as a diabetes caregiver.


You must be able to deal with practical issues such as what to do when things go wrong. This might include:

Forgotten insulin pen (it may help to keep a spare at school)

Pen and insulin storage and access 

Contact details of parents/caregivers and health clinic

Conducting or overseeing monitoring or injecting procedures

Formulating and implementing a healthcare plan with other school staff

Recognise hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose) and hyperglycaemia (high blood glucose) symptoms and know how to initiate emergency procedures if they occur

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blood sugar