A Bedford mum joined a campaign to help improve support in schools for children with long-term medical conditions.
Joanna Dickson, along her 14-year-old daughter Scarlett, who has Type 1 diabetes, met Bedford and Kempston MP Mohammad Yasin at a special event held in Parliament, with more than 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 over 30 organisations, including Diabetes UK.
As part of its Safe in School campaign, the alliance is calling on the Minister for Children and Families to take action to ensure all schools in England know that they are legally required to have medical conditions policies, and to publish these policies on their websites. The alliance is also calling on the minister to ask school regulator Ofsted to look at these policies, and their implementation, during inspections.
Joanna and Scarlett have backed the campaign and have appealed to Mr Yasin to convince ministers that changes are needed.
Joanna said: “I was pleased to meet with Mohammad Yasin MP as it gave me the chance to raise my concerns about poor care in school for children with medical conditions, such as Type 1 diabetes.
“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 Mohammad Yasin MP and his 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.”
Mr Yasin said: “It was great to meet Joanna and Scarlett and hear their story. It’s unacceptable that children with medical conditions might not be getting the 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.”