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  #1  
Old 23-11-2006, 10:10 AM
nod nod is offline
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Default Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

We're at our wits end this morning.

We have a 4 year old girl who has Type 1 Diabetes, i.e she needs injections of insulin every day. She started in our small local rural school in September and the school were well aware of her condition.Through the school we had applied for a Special Needs Assistant (SNA) in advanvce but were refused.

We received a letter this morning fron the schools Board of Management stating that they could no longer take the child !.The only way they will take her is if we get an SNA,for which we have already been refused !.
In effect she is being refused and education,does this sound right to you?

We are very annoyed as you can imagine and are currently persuing all avenues possible
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  #2  
Old 23-11-2006, 10:32 AM
Ciaran Ciaran is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Board's insurance need to 'indemnify' staff members who are prepared to give child injection - simply means that all staff are aware of who is licensed to give injection/necessary medication. This information, along with emergency numbers/insulin pens etc. and a photograph of your child need to be prominently displayed in the staffroom. You could offer to attend a staff-meeting to explain exactly what form of diabetes your child has and what needs to be done on a regular basis/in an emergency. I don't think your school has a right to do this - I may be wrong but I think your case is partiuclarly strong as they had already admitted her.
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  #3  
Old 23-11-2006, 11:35 AM
Gone Fishin'
 
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

I would suggest one of the parents guarantee to visit the school every day to administer the necessary injections. I would not, in any circumstance, expect a teacher to give a child an injection.

One really must look at this situation from the school's point of view and understand their stuation.
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  #4  
Old 23-11-2006, 11:56 AM
askalot askalot is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone Fishin' View Post
One really must look at this situation from the school's point of view and understand their stuation.
May I be so bold as to suggest that one should look at the situation from the child's point of view!
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  #5  
Old 23-11-2006, 12:09 PM
demoivre demoivre is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gone Fishin' View Post
I would not, in any circumstance, expect a teacher to give a child an injection.
Nor are they obliged to according to Into.

Quote:
Introduction
There is growing concern about the extent teachers are becoming involved in the administration of various medicines to pupils. INTO is aware of cases whereby members are being requested to administer serious forms of medication, which in normal circumstances would require some degree of medical knowledge or experience. Principals and teachers generally do their utmost for children who are ill and are motivated by the desire to protect the safety and welfare of any child in their care.
INTO has requested the employing authorities to ensure that areas of responsibility in relation to the administration of medicine to pupils are clear in all circumstances. This leaflet gives clear guidance to members:
• about instances where it is not appropriate to administer medicines to pupils; • about the limitations of any "requirements" which may be made of them. Teachers will always be prepared to help when an accident or an emergency situation arises eg., when a child has a serious accident and parents need to be contacted or an ambulance called. INTO recommends that procedures to deal with such emergency situations are clear and are made clear to staff and parents.
The ELB Guidelines and the CCMS
The Education and Library Boards, the CCMS and other employers have the primary responsibility for the safety and health of pupils. It is essential that detailed guidance is issued by employing authorities to all schools, clarifying the areas of responsibility for medicines, together with the procedure to operate should there be a need for medication to be administered within a school.
Teachers’ Professional Duty
Teachers have a professional duty to safeguard the health and safety of pupils when they are authorised to be on school premises and when they are engaged in authorised school activities elsewhere. This does not imply a duty upon teachers personally to undertake the administration of medicines.
INTO recommends that teachers do not take the responsibility for administration of any medicine, which if administered incorrectly or for any other reason, could have a damaging effect on the child.
Children with Long Term Health Problems
It is recognised that it is desirable for children with long term health problems eg., asthma, epilepsy and diabetes to be accommodated within a school in order that they can continue with their education. If this is done, it is necessary that proper and clearly understood arrangements for the administration of medicines are made. Parents should be encouraged to provide the maximum support and assistance in helping the school accommodate the pupil. This could include measures such a self administration (where necessary and only after approval from a GP) or parental suspension.
Teachers and Administration of Medicines in Schools
1. No teacher can be requested to administer medicine or drugs to a pupil. Contact INTO Northern Office or your Northern Committee representative where there is any attempt to impose such a requirement.
2. Principals should refuse to accept responsibility for the administration of medication to pupils where:
(a) the timing of its administration is critical to the health of the child; or
(b) some technical or medical knowledge and/or training is required; or
(c) intimate contact with the pupil is necessary.
3. Any teacher who is prepared to administer medicines should only do so under strictly controlled guidelines, fully confident that the administration will be safe. It is wise to limit this willingness to emergency situations only. A teacher who does take responsibility for administering medicines takes on a heavy legal duty of care to discharge the responsibility correctly. Every reasonable precaution must be taken. Clear instructions about medicines requiring regular administration must be obtained and strictly followed.
In emergencies a teacher should do no more than is obviously necessary and appropriate to relieve extreme distress or prevent further and otherwise irreparable harm. Qualified medical attention should be secured in emergencies at the earliest opportunity. Again, no teacher can be required to administer medicine. This is a matter of individual choice and judgement. Apart from the obvious distress to the teacher who makes a mistake, that teacher would find her/himself named in a legal claim for negligence.
Arrangements in School
Whenever possible, parents should be asked to make arrangements to come into school or for pupils to return home at lunchtime for medication. Principals should provide maximum assistance in the making of these arrangements.
Where this is not feasible the following procedure should operate:
(a) The smallest possible dose should be brought to school, preferably by the parent, with clear written instructions for administration, giving the name of the pupil. Glass containers are unsuitable to be carried by pupils.
(b) The medicine should not be kept by the pupil but in a locked cupboard out of reach of pupils. Certain medicines, however, such as inhalers used by asthmatic children, must be made readily accessible at all times of the school day. How this is done is a matter for the principal’s professional judgement or Employing Authority guidelines.
(c) The medicine should be self administered, if possible, under the supervision of an adult. This may be the principal or someone acting with the principal’s authority. It would be advisable to keep a written record of the date and time of the administration.
[NB] Teachers cannot be instructed to administer medicine to a pupil.
INTO recommends that guidelines on administration of medicines prepared by the Employing Authority should be brought to the attention of all staff. Northern Office should be contacted as a matter of urgency if there are any problems relating to the establishment or implementation of medication guidelines.

Last edited by ajapale; 25-11-2006 at 02:25 PM. Reason: the quotation from INTO relates to Northern Ireland was added
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  #6  
Old 23-11-2006, 12:15 PM
demoivre demoivre is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Quote:
Originally Posted by askalot View Post
May I be so bold as to suggest that one should look at the situation from the child's point of view!
I wouldn't be prepared to give a child other than one of my own lads an injection. I sympathize with the op's problem but in today's litigious society I can understand the school's position.
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  #7  
Old 23-11-2006, 12:24 PM
path path is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Sometimes a school can recommend that a child is withdrawn from the school on Health and Safety Grounds but a school cannot deny education to a child unless there is a school nearby which can educate your child.

You must get your medical reports and maybe a phycological report and show that your child is a danger to herself without the SNA and appeal the last decision to your local Special Needs Educational Officer.

Insurance has nothing to do with this situation just a battle between the school and the Dept of Education.

Children with a Physical Disability are as far as I am aware are entitled to SNA hours
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  #8  
Old 23-11-2006, 12:47 PM
nod nod is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Maybe I need to give you more info on this matter.

The teachers(only two) have never given or were asked to give her insulin injections,we completely understand the schools point of view on this matter. We haven't even asked them to check her Blood/Glucose levels. Her teacher offered to check her if she ever felt she may be having a Hypo (BG's too low),this has happened on a couple of occasions.
Even after receiving this letter today we offered to check her ourselves in future and were told that we would have to sign a form obsolving the school if she ever ended up seriously ill,e.g a coma. We cannot,nor should any parent for that matter,sign a form absolving the school of her care.

We are in discussions with the Dept of Health,they are competely behind us,we have just finished a letter of reply to the BOM and want this resolved immediately.

It is a wider problem in the country today,the government will not give SNA's for Diabetic children,its absolutely crazy and should be resolved as a matter of ungency,every child is entitled to an education,full stop.
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  #9  
Old 23-11-2006, 12:49 PM
Carpenter Carpenter is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Quote:
Originally Posted by demoivre View Post
I wouldn't be prepared to give a child other than one of my own lads an injection. I sympathize with the op's problem but in today's litigious society I can understand the school's position.
Surely administering such an injection requires a certain level of skill and competency; leaving the issue of litigation to one side I don't suppose that many adults would have the confidence or competency to administer such injections to a child other than their own.
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  #10  
Old 23-11-2006, 12:55 PM
Judybaby73 Judybaby73 is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Get on to the schools inspector or indeed the www.ncse.ie The SNO (special needs organiser in your area should be able to advise)
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  #11  
Old 23-11-2006, 01:04 PM
nod nod is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Thanks JellyBaby
We have already been refused an SNA and were told this morning that it is the school who have to apply for an SNA,all of this will take some time,we need her back in the school ASAP. Also,the Dept of education said that if she is out of school for more than 21 days the law is being broken,not by us,but by the school who have expelled her for something outside of her control.
We just want to get he back ASAP,she is a very insecure child,her two best friends are in her class of 5,it will set her back alot if she miss's this year.
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  #12  
Old 23-11-2006, 01:49 PM
ajapale ajapale is offline
 
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

You should also contact diabetes federation of Ireland. 76 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 2. Telephone 1850 909909. They are very friendly and helpfull.

Modern insulin pens are very easy to use and not at all like the old syringes. The needles are very short and very fine.

You should talk to your GP and endocrinologist to find out what types of pens to use.

Even if the issue of injections is solved there remains the issue of the glucometer to monitor blood sugar throughout the day.

aj

ps did the insulin pump you posted about here a few months ago not work out?
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  #13  
Old 23-11-2006, 02:08 PM
ajapale ajapale is offline
 
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

I urge you to speak to the diabetes federation people and your GP / endocrinologist first and explore how the problem might be resolved. Talk of campaigns, solicitors and politicians is a little premature at this stage- In my opinion.
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  #14  
Old 23-11-2006, 03:18 PM
nod nod is offline
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Location: Limerick
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Hi ajaple,
We did indeed get the insulin pump and,after much fustration,it is working very well. Her BG readings have leveled out significantly and she feels much better in general. So the issue of insulin injections doesn't even arise,she only needs insulin when she eats (Bolus) and this can be administered by us as she only eats at set time,ie break and lunch times.

You are right that campaigns and such are the last resort,if the school is "forced" to take her back she may be the only one to suffer in the long run,people have long memories. We would rather solve this by discussion,it is a tiny school,no more than 40 children and two teachers where everone knows each other. We are very upset at the manner it was decided to suspend her,the meeting was last night,we were not informed,and the letter handed to my wife this morning,it was a bolt out of the blue.

We have since replied to the letter,we'll see what happens.....
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  #15  
Old 23-11-2006, 04:36 PM
Gone Fishin'
 
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Is it possible to share an SNA with another child?
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  #16  
Old 23-11-2006, 05:13 PM
MOB MOB is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

"We cannot,nor should any parent for that matter,sign a form absolving the school of her care."

Hi,
This is a difficult situation, but the above statement from the parent seems to have been ignored or glossed over by a lot of people commenting here. I think it may go to the nub of the issue. It is certainly possible that the facts are as follows:

1. The school are perhaps saying that they cannot take responsiblity for a serious medical incident arising from the child's Diabetes. It is certainly arguable that - in the absence of properly qualified personnel - the school should be entitled to take this position. I think myself that Diabetes is common enough that it should be possible to train a teacher to cope (after all, parents are taught how to cope all the time), but nevertheless, in these litigious times, there is an arguable case for this position (if that is the school's position).

2. I don't think this is quite the same as saying that they are absolved of the child's care. The school would - I assume - have the same duty of care to this child as they have to any other child. It is perhaps just that the school are not prepared to assume an extra duty of care as a result of the diabetes.

3. If parents have been asked - and have refused point blank- to sign a disclaimer\indemnity, then I am not so sure that it is fair to cast the school in such a bad light. The school's action may well have been caused by this refusal and on legal advice.

Perhaps the deadlock then simply comes down to the exact wording of the disclaimer\indemnity? If parents acknowledge that the school does not have to take responsibility for managing the diabetes, can they not sign an acknowledgment to this effect? If they won't, is it necessarily fair to blame the school?
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Old 23-11-2006, 05:43 PM
nod nod is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

MOB,appreciate your input,

Quote:
It is certainly possible that the facts are as follows:

1. The school are perhaps saying that they cannot take responsiblity for a serious medical incident arising from the child's Diabetes. It is certainly arguable that - in the absence of properly qualified personnel - the school should be entitled to take this position. I think myself that Diabetes is common enough that it should be possible to train a teacher to cope (after all, parents are taught how to cope all the time), but nevertheless, in these litigious times, there is an arguable case for this position (if that is the school's position).
The school and its teachers are not being asked to do anything relating to her Diabetes,it is just that they are not willing to accept responsibility if she becomes seriously ill during school hours.Where do you draw the line,should all parents of children be made sign this disclaimer,after all any child could could collapse for have a fatal fall,surely this is what insurance is for.


Quote:
2. I don't think this is quite the same as saying that they are absolved of the child's care. The school would - I assume - have the same duty of care to this child as they have to any other child. It is perhaps just that the school are not prepared to assume an extra duty of care as a result of the diabetes.
As above,they should not discriminate against a child with Diabetes.If someone works in Company and has Diabetes do they have to sign a disclaimer,not the same situation,but I doubt it
Quote:
3. If parents have been asked - and have refused point blank- to sign a disclaimer\indemnity, then I am not so sure that it is fair to cast the school in such a bad light. The school's action may well have been caused by this refusal and on legal advice.
We were only informed by word of mouth whilst the letter was being handed over that we possibly could sign a disclaimer,we haven't refused to do so.The schools action was to have a BOM meeting last night and decided to supend/expell our child as a result of her Diabetes,no other reason

Quote:
Perhaps the deadlock then simply comes down to the exact wording of the disclaimer\indemnity? If parents acknowledge that the school does not have to take responsibility for managing the diabetes, can they not sign an acknowledgment to this effect? If they won't, is it necessarily fair to blame the school?
This issue is not causing the impass,the school has decided their course of action. Anyone whom we have to spoken to in the Dept of Ed. and read the letter to are all in agreement that the school cannot take the stance they have.With a little dialogue these matters could have been resolved,instead they chose (not us!) to take the hard line
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  #18  
Old 24-11-2006, 09:33 AM
ajapale ajapale is offline
 
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

From diabetes ireland Q&A forum.

Quote:
Question from Anonymous:
My son is 2 and a half and has Type 1 diabetes since he was 7 months old. He uses an insulin pump. He has just started pre-school. I'm wondering if he is entitled to a Special Needs Assistant as the pump is very intensive and time consuming. At the moment I have to stay in the pre-school to check blood and administer meal blosu's as the staff are not yet comfortable to do these things. A friend of mine whose daughter has just started school and also uses a pump has just gotten a SNA.
Answer :

Each school has its own policy with regard to a Special Needs Assistant. The SNA is appointed to a child based on their individual needs. I am not aware of any precedents when it comes to preschool but if your child’s needs are great and you can not full fill those needs, it may be worth applying for a assistant for your child during school hours.

To do this, you would have to contact your diabetes team and through them make a case to the local HSE office explaining about your son’s needs. The support of the consultant is vital in acquiring a SNA for one individual child. It is very important to examine fully the implications of having an SNA with a child in school. This must be dealt with sensitivity and have full accord with the play school.
And here:

Quote:
Question from Anonymous:
Are diabetic children entitled to a special needs assistant when they start school?
Answer :
No, children with diabetes are not entitled to a special needs assistant when they start school. The school has a duty of care to children and it is up to the school how they chose to resource that duty.

Some schools have applied for school assistants on the basis of children having a medical condition, however, this must be balanced against the social development issues surrounding any child that is allocated a needs assistant.
rollercoaster.ie is an excellent site which has dealt with issues surrounding children with t1 diabetes. see here for example.
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  #19  
Old 24-11-2006, 10:45 AM
Brendan Burgess Brendan Burgess is offline
 
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Posting Guidelines

Askaboutmoney is primarily for questions and answers.

This is a very tricky thread to moderate. I am reluctant to move it to Letting Off Steam as there are specific questions and answers and advice. However I have deleted the posts which have been of a political nature.

Please avoid Letting Off Steam in this thread. If frequent posters want to discuss the wider political and moral issues involved, they can do so in a separate thread in the Letting Off Steam forum. If people continue to post Letting Off Steam issues, we will close the thread.

Brendan Burgess
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  #20  
Old 24-11-2006, 12:55 PM
nod nod is offline
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Default Re: Child with Diabetes-school now refusing to take her

Just and update for anyone whos intersted

Had a meeting with school principal this morning.Will meet with Board of Management next week with a person from the Dept. Of Education acting as intermidary.School will push again for SNA,in the mean time their looking for temp. SNA,hopefully someone local.She agreed that the letter was completely out of order and felt everyone was pressurised at the BOM meeting to agreed with the chairman who took this very strong stance.Child still not allowed back to school until hopefully after the meeting.
Parents are completely outraged and are arranging a meeting about this and other matters,this is not something we agree with,we want this matter solved without rancor and argument.The person arranging the meeting is on the BOM! and is appalled by the whole thing.
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